Fortunata Fortuna is left reeling following the breakup of a long-term relationship.She and her boyfriend had been having a rough time, but “Nata” still felt blindsided when she was dumped and left with vague reasons for Beto’s sudden departure. She always held out some hope that Beto would see the error of his ways and come back to her. In the meantime, she goes through plenty of grief and therapy and frequently imagines — as per the book’s title — extensive scenarios that involve Beto’s return (or, at the very least, presence).
Nata eventually tries to get a grip and forces herself to go out and try dating again, to mixed results. In the meantime, life keeps going: the place where she works is facing major layoffs and her friends, some of whom seem like solid couples, are also suddenly finding themselves in the midst of major breakups. Nata gets to see it all, and none of her friends seems to fall apart as much as she did (in fact, one of her friends reacts to being dumped and cheated on with such certain, cold indifference towards her recent ex that everyone is left in awe of her exquisite badassery).
I think this book will be a hit-or-miss for most people. So much of it is given to Nata’s fanciful musings; she’s often lost in thought on what could have been (or what still might be), and in dwelling on this rosier version of the past, she ignores the realities of that doomed relationship. Some might be annoyed by how much time she spends imagining things, but as someone who lives in her head, that actually wasn’t much of a problem for me! What didn’t work was some of Nata’s more extreme daydreams; some were amusing, but others were over-the-top. Ultimately, that’s probably what it’s going to come down to for readers: those who don’t mind long, interior musings will probably fare better than those who need an active plot.
The Imaginary Life was published in August 2014 by Grupo Planeta, an imprint of Open Road Media. The book is on tour right now, so be sure to check out what other bloggers are saying!