One bright spring day in 1925, Gabriela arrives from the poverty-stricken backwoods of Brazil to the lively seaside port of IlhEus amid a flock of filthy migrant workers. Though wearing rags and covered in dirt, she attracts the attention of Nacib, a cafe owner, who is in desperate need of a new cook. So dire is his situation that he hires the disheveled girl. The savvy young woman quickly proves to be an excellent chef and once well-scrubbed and decently dressedan eye-catching beauty. Nacib quickly finds himself the owner of the most prosperous business in townand the employer of its most sought-after woman.
A charismatic storyteller . . . no other Latin American writer is more admired by his peers, nor has any other exerted so great a creative influence on the course of Latin American fiction.