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The saga of a glamorous Mexico City family. A tale of five women spanning three decades. Martita as a young conventional heiress ruling silently and behind the scenes her brutish and handsome husband, whose infidelities provide her with the gift she’s been praying for. A daughter, bought from Pedro’s former lover, Marisol. Marta, aware of her unconventional heritage, looks to find a place for herself in this world, burdened by her wealth and good looks, and mourning her mother’s death from breast cancer, at twenty-six, she does not know who she is. Structured like a deck of lotería cards, their stories intertwine in time, giving a complex story of love, betrayal, vengeance and meaning.


“The novel reflects the differences, as well as the dismay, that poverty produces.”   —Antonio Muñoz Molina, member of the Royal Spanish Academy, author of Winter in Lisbon (winner of the Spanish National Prize for Narrative) and many other novels


“As with many great works, writing that originates from the dead, in this case the character of Martita, designs a reality that is not what it seems. With a subtle knowledge of a world, that in that blends contemporary Mexican narrative with world literature.” —Mario Bellatin, author of Salon de belleza and other novels


“A scene so crude and raw that becomes palpable. These are the authors that make it possible to smell blood.”  —Jorge F. Hernandez, author of La emperatriz de lavapiés, and Requiem for an Angel, and columnist for Milenio newspaper


“It’s worth reading it. I felt trapped. Lorea Canales has the capacity to give life to tridimensional characters that seem to take."  —José Manuel Prieto, author of Encyclopedia of the Russian Empire: A Novel

“Great book! I read it in one sitting. The Mexico you describe has nothing to envy to the one from Where the Air is Clear. I love that clean prose, so seemingly simple yet hiding many hours of intense work.”    —Juan Luis Cebrian, CEO of PRISA, journalist, novelist, and member of the Royal Spanish Academy


“This is a warning of a career path that will immerse itself in the world of literature. She finds a way to enter many worlds. Canales engages in psychological explorations. She is a humanist, searching to comprehend the environment, to understand the world.”   —Jesus Silva Herzog-Marquez


“Becoming Marta, by Lorea Canales, walks the path of the family romance, but now, facing the twenty-first century, the center is the female voice that seeks its identity, which exposes its distress and shows its powers and the way it constitutes itself in a subject who thinks and acts within its social privileges. It is this wealthy family that the novel deconstructs, showing its flaws and tics, the way they represent themselves toward the outside and the conflicts that destroy them from the inside. Lorea Canales starts her narrative contribution boldly and safely, with an effective use of dialogues, making her confident mark in the stories that will mark the future.”

—Diamela Eltit, Chilean author, and winner of the Jose Donoso prize for lifetime achievement


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