emise enkindles quite a meaningful questions in one's mind.
A close reading of the novel exhibits the life of characters who are not only ostensibly traditionalist but also highly eccentric. It mirrors a society and milieu of the upper class Pueblans, where women in particular the wives are "to worry only about the desires of others, to quietly enjoy the plants and the fish bowl, unfolded socks and tidy drawers." Her protagonist Catalina Guzman De Ascencio evidently desires more of life and in turn wages an endless struggle to oust her servitude-clawing out to realize her identity as she wades through the puddle to outgrow the impositions of the womanizer. She naively mulls over her plight by saying: "I met him in one of the cafes under the arches. Where else would it have been, since in Puebla everything happened in the arcades, from courtships to assassinations - as if no other place existed." The Novel envelops this guileless struggle of its teenager who falls for mindlessly over Andres Ascencio, a 'politically ambitious' retired general who's twenty years her senior.Mestretta plants the element of intrigue in the plot by portraying his character to be of an insane philander, whose instructions fall on Catalina as they 'were from God Himself.' This precisely underpins Mastreta idea where she says that "there's no way that during the war period of forties and fifties the women never cared for with whom they made love or got married to". She speaks of a society where all boils down to the matter of temerarious survival. In Catalina we sense the existence of this exuberant rebellion-an odyssey led towards realization of self-discovery. Her husband Andres Ascencio incarnates the repressive social values of the upper-middle-class society to which Catalina acquiesces quite remotely. This compels her to turn to society, leading to her tryst with Carlos Vives who propels her towards moral subversion. Such a deviation symbolizes the collective yearning of the people for psychological liberation and political freedom. This brings us to say that the novel undoubtedly speaks of power as man's forte and Love as woman's greatest social strength in so far as it enables a woman as in case of Catalina to not only remain faithful towards her husband but also to seek belligerence entailing self-control. Such historical realism combined with melodrama speaks of characters larger than life. Despite the entrails of warfare, what the novel superimposes on minds of its readers is the more pertinent and captivating issue of women being capable of forging their respective identities and carving