The Messenger is set in Cuba and tells the story of a pair of doomed lovers, world-famous tenor Enrico Caruso and his Chinese-Cuban mulatta mistress, whose destinies unfold in a rich and complex tale. The novel is based on fact: In June 1920 a bomb exploded at the Teatro Nacional in Havana at the very moment that Enrico Caruso was singing Radames in the opera Aida. In a panic, he fled the theater and disappeared into the streets of Havana. What happened to him is the story imagined by Mayra Montero.As Caruso tries to escape the murderous agents of the Black Hand, he is drawn into a passionate love affair with twenty-seven-year-old Aida Cheng, a woman whose godfather is the powerful Afro-Cuban santero Jose de Calazan. For Calazan, Caruso is already a dead man - the orishas (gods) had warned him about the singer's arrival in Cuba, his involvement with Aida, his tragic fate - and the santero's aim is twofold: to save his goddaughter, who will not give up her lover, and to prevent Caruso from dying in Cuba.Told by Enriqueta, the daughter born of the love affair, and by Aida herself as she lies dying many years later, The Messenger unfolds its mysteries against the rhythms of santeria and Chinese folk magic and weaves a brooding, compelling tale of love and death.
- Hardback | 224 pages
- 139.7 x 213.36 x 25.4mm | 430.91g
- 01 May 1999
- HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- New York, NY, United States