The Lady Matador's Hotel by Cristina Garcia
Set in a luxury hotel, in a fictional Central American capital. The lives of several guests play out over a week's time. The central character is Suki Palacios, a Japanese Mexican American matador. She's in town for the first ever female bull fighting competition. Suki Palacios is a very memorable character. There is strength in her skill and beauty. She commands the attention of everyone.
The ongoing presidential election is an essential part of the story. This novel is filled with strong female protagonists, including ex guerrilla, Aura Estrada. Aura comes face to face with the colonel responsible for the death of her brother.
Garcia has crafted a beautiful, elegant and lyrical story. Only 205 pages, the author takes the less is more approach. I love novels where there's meaning and purpose behind each word and pause.
"Last night Suki visited the cathedral, off the colonial plaza. It was All Souls Day and the whisperings to the dead rose from the pews, circling in the naves until they hummed with a humid sorrow. Suki trusts in the enigmas of the unknown as she does her own eyesight, or the pumping muscles of her heart. The trick is balancing the measurable known against the vast chaos that defines everything else. In medical school, Suki's professors praised her for her lack of sentimentality but they underestimated her respect for the imperceptible."