The Curse of the Flores Women

Original title: A Maldição das Flores

Author: Lopes, Angélica

Publication Date:

July 2022

Pages:

256

Original language and publisher

Brazilian Portuguese | Planeta Brasil

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English

Territories Sold

Italy (Mondadori, in a pre-empt)
Portugal (Porto, in a pre-empt)
France (Le Seuil, at auction)

Genre

Literary Fiction

The Curse of the Flores Women

Original title: A Maldição das Flores

Author: Lopes, Angélica

Synopsis

In recent years, in Rio de Janeiro, a lace veil hiding a secret coded story comes into the hands of Alice, a young feminist, telling a tale of domestic violence that happened 100 years before, involving her ancestors. Curious to understand their path, Alice collects and joins fragments of their past until she reaches Flores, a family of lacemakers in a small town in the Brazilian hinterland, a place marked by backwardness and coronelism, a form of authoritarianism enforced by the area’s colonels.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Flores women used to live under what seemed to be a dark curse: all the men that crossed their lives – whether fathers, sons, brothers or husbands – died early in life. Beliefs, coincidence or destiny, the deaths ended up providing these women with a routine without the presence of male figures, which, while making the people of the city distrust them, it gave the Flores more freedom. It is in this context that Inês Flores decides to help her best friend, Eugenia, to escape the abuse of her husband, the most powerful man in the region. Together, the two young women create a lace code to communicate through bedspreads and towels and to silently plan a dangerous escape. United by bonds of friendship and companionship created while they work in stitching lace in the blue window house, we find among the lacemakers, characters such as Aunt Firmina, fervent Catholic and guardian of a secret of the past; the widow Carmelita, always longing for her dead; the sensitive Cândida, who perceives the world by sounds and prefers to raise her birds without a cage; and the spirited Vitorina, who tries to shape the future of everyone with lightness and hope.

On this journey in search of her roots, Alice unravels and is also inspired by her family’s history. At a time when women had no voice, their ancestors managed to create, in a discreet but effective way, a sorority. Even if oppressed by the society of that time, the Flores women fell silent and made themselves heard through the stitches of their lace.