Only Sofia-Elisabete is the third book in the Sofia-Elisabete Stories, a series that focuses on Sofia-Elisabete, Col. Fitzwilliam’s love child with a Portuguese bolero dancer he met while fighting on the continent. In the first book, I, Sofia-Elisabete, Love Child of Col. Fitzwilliam, we are introduced to little Sofia and accompany her adventures through the magical interpretation only a child can have of live. The second book, Twelfth-Night Cake & the Rosings Ghost is a novella that takes Sofia Elizabete and Col. Fitzwilliam to Rosings Park where they spend Christmas and try to solve the mysteries of the past, still with a magical view that is quite appropriate for a seasonal story. And finally on this third installment we see Sofia as a grown young lady of 15 living in Spain with her mother and discovering what it means to fall in love.
Sofia-Elisabete will once more travel across several European countries meeting many different people and finding herself in many difficult situations. The author brought some interesting details into the story, namely bringing well-known characters such as Goya into the plot. I was entertained by Sofia’s adventures, but I confess that the moments I loved the most were the ones where she was living with a loving family member. Tito was a very pleasant surprise and Col. Fitzwilliam’s company, while sad at times was also endearing.
My favorite aspect of this book was the entire storyline of Col. Fitzwilliam. Even if I was a little sad and disappointed with his character in the beginning of the book, I realized there was a valid reason behind his actions, and I loved seeing the struggles his character had to go through, and the strength he had to have to return to his loving family. His relationship with Sofia-Elisabete was as endearing as in the previous books, and I was only sorry it came only at a later stage in the book.
Only Sofia-Elisabete is written in the same magical realism style the first two books were written and even though I do like the uniqueness of this writing style, which I had only encountered in Latin American authors before, I found it more appealing when the narrative was presented to the reader by the eyes of a small child. As this story portrays a young lady who is old enough to fall in love and marry, I sometimes felt that her magical view of the world was a little incoherent with her life and responsibilities. Nevertheless, the blur between fantasy and reality is a characteristic of this writing style and it was very well done, so readers who are particularly fond of magical realism will certainly love this story.
Summing up, Only Sofia-Elisabete continues the story of a dear character that readers will find hard not to love, and whose journey the reader will want to continue to follow up. It’s magical realism writing style brings a uniqueness to the story that most will find innovative and captivating, and that admirers of the genre will certainly love. I recommend this book particularly to readers who enjoy this writing style.
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