If you go close to the city square, on Wednesday at 18h30, and feel the scent of custard apple, it won’t be from a tree nearby, but from the title of an old acquaintance. The name Luz Marina Kratt may sound unknown, but it is the present name of one of the faces of RTP/Madeira in the nineties. Marina Moss, or Marina from tv, would enter our houses during the news some twenty years back.
Well, lets get to the tree. The “Smell of Custard Apple” is published by Oxalá Editora and by the Portugal Post, based in Dortmund, Germany. It is part of a programme that aims at supporting Portuguese writers, called “Autores da Diáspora”. The book is distributed through all the German bookshops with foreign writers, in the countries with Portuguese communities, in the Portuguese speaking African countries and, of course, also in Portugal, namely in Bertrand and FNAC, and possibly others.
In the foreword, one can read that “when the world that Rafaela had built for herself and for her daughter was disintegrating like a sand castle, she doesn’t let herself drown by defeat and despair.
Fate, according to a tarot session, says the future in where her childhood was spent.
She then opens the door of that forgotten world. As if leafing through a photo album, she remembers the old estate where she was born, the village of small white houses, the colourful boats moored by the pier. The men playing cards under the sun-drenched palm trees, and the women embroidering under the steep mountains. And that deep blue sea that, in stormy nights, would throw itself on the village with raging white foaming waves.
Lost, she seeks in the past a route that a tarot card points to like an arrow at a crossroad.
“Cheiro da Anoneira” is an enthralling novel, with traces of humour on the part of some of the village inhabitants. But it is, above all, a novel filled with romance and magic, revealing an occult facet, where parallel dimensions cross.
Rafaela lives on the edge of the world we know, on the threshold of the world we feel and, somehow, fear.
Marina takes us to a world where séances and spirits and paranormal contacts are constant, but which doesn’t aim at revealing anything new. Just touch a reality that is to mark the new millennium.
Next Wednesday go and feel the scent of the season’s fruit at the Funchal council (18h30).