Nothing Can Hurt You Now
Original title: Nada vai acontecer com voce
A Brazilian thriller that starts out mild and sweet, but then will keep you bound to its pages and guessing what comes next. Unpredictable, feminist, political, Simone Campos’ novel seems like the perfect compilation of all my literary preferences. From a seemingly plain start about two sisters who are very different and get separated by fate, the author manages to skirt off predictable developments and makes sure her reader will get to the last sentence yearning for more. — Mylane Damasceno, Roendo Livros
One of the main highlights in this book is how subtly the author approaches her chosen themes. Campos mostly departs from the dualisms that so often characterize identitary discourses. She oscillates between black and white, male and female, straight and gay, wealthy and poor, the high-brow and the low-brow, playing around with a fluidity that’s a defining trait both of post-modern identities, and of that in-between place that’s characteristic of the Latin-American – and above all, the Brazilian – identity. — Pedro Sasse, Escritos Suspeitos
I’ve been a fan of Simone Campos’ work for a while. Nothing Can Hurt You Now is her best work so far. A thriller novel packed full with action, irony, and eroticism, in which strong women join a frantic search effort. — Raphael Montes, author of Perfect Days
Simone Campos has given us a strong novel with a gripping, swift narrative. A book that makes us think about the limits to which society confines women while also being a great read.
— Martha Batalha, author of The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão
This book feels like an origami figure where the life of two sisters unfolds before your eyes in very unforeseen ways. You follow the story thinking you know what’s coming next, but, as every new movement unfolds, you find yourself surprised. The plot manages to surprise us, seduce us, and thrill us. — Carola Saavedra, author of Blue Flowers
Lucinda works at a public TV station in Rio. Her everyday life is shaken when she learns that her younger sister, Viviana, has gone missing in São Paulo. Lucinda goes to the police, but is met with indifference; anxious about her sister’s fate, she decides to do her own sleuthing. She’s shocked as she finds that Vivi was leading a double life: not only was she a model, but also a sex worker. She also learns that Vivi had a girlfriend, Graziane, who’s in the same line of work. Together, Lucinda and Graziane start to investigate men from Viviana’s past to try and find her before it’s too late. The suspects include her ex-boyfriend, her former boss – who was once implicated in a case of racism against Vivi –, and even the sisters’ absent father, who’d been getting a dubious allowance from his missing daughter. One by one they’re visited and probed by Grazi and Luci; they act either like they’re untouchable or offended by the accusation, but all fail to show concern about Viviana. After talking to her father and concluding he’s innocent, Lucinda decides to examine the spot on the road from where Viviana disappeared. There, she collects some evidence and realizes her sister fought a kidnapper and probably failed. Then, Graziane gets a distressed text from Viviana and joins Lucinda in her rescue mission.
We then connect with Viviana’s point of view. She tells how she’s being kept captive on a farm after being kidnapped by a chauffeur, César, to be handed on a platter to a big landowner’s son, Davi. Davi, a 25-year-old former client of Vivi’s, says he’s in love with her, but Vivi quickly gleans troubling motivations for his actions, which include proving to his father and friends that he’s “a real man” by showing her off as a trophy. César, a violent, cynical man, seems capable of anything in order to please his actual boss: Davi’s father. Vivi tries to escape captivity through social engineering, playing coy while picking apart her kidnappers’ actions and purposes to find an exploit. She finds out that César’s true plan was not only to make Davi give up on her, but also to lead him into murdering her to teach him how unruly women should be dealt with. Lucinda and Graziane arrive in the nick of time, overpower César and save Viviana; Davi dies and the police finally shows up, along with Davi’s father, who tries but fails to pressure Viviana into dropping the charges against his son. The story ends with Lucinda, Viviana, and Graziane dining out; Viviana reveals she’s going to study Law, following in her mother’s footsteps in the firm she’s a partner of.
- English translation available