Picks and Pans Review: Nectar
In this hilarious second novel, the natural scent of a woman is more than delightful: It's deadly. Men are driven to adultery, financial ruin, even suicide under the influence of Ramona Drottoveo's beautifully bewitching body odor. In the southern Italian countryside, the lusty albino chambermaid dreams of living in Naples. As men trail her everywhere just to get a whiff, she discovers the richness of her aromatic endowment.
This comic fairy tale is full of colorful but not particularly endearing characters (such as a hunchback who moonlights as a human cannonball at the circus) and absurd situations (one unfortunate butler grows a third ear on the back of his head; dogs and horses swoon in Ramona's path). Like her first novel, La Cucina, Prior's follow-up bursts with mouthwatering descriptions of sumptuous meals. And there's an equally vivid portrayal of the squalor Ramona finds herself living in when her fantasies fail—as they must in this witty, well-spun yarn. (Ecco, $23.95)
Bottom Line: Smells like a winner
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