I don’t want to accuse Juan del Val of plagiarizing Argentinian novelist Claudia Piñeiro, but his Delparaíso is so similar to Piñeiro’s Thursday Night Widows that I read it as a sequel to Piñeiro’s novel.
I loved Delparaíso. It’s gossipy, chatty, very undemanding – a great, relaxing read about clueless rich people in a chi-chi gated community in Spain. Piñeiro’s gated community is in Argentina but otherwise the differences between the novels are minimal.
It’s not necessarily suspicious that gated communities attract the attention of writers in different countries, but it’s not just the subject that’s identical. It’s the contrast between the lives of the rich residents and the hired help that comes from a very similarly named community. It’s the slight preachiness in the way they story is narrated. It’s the indistinguishable characters and the same story lines.
But a very nice book. I can never get enough Piñeiro, so it’s nice that somebody is cloning her novels.