Posted by: ktzefr | May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo: Fiestas and Food for Thought

A Corona, a hammock, a good book…what better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Today, the fifth of May, celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  This victory, however, was short-lived.  A year later the French occupied Mexico and placed Emperor Maximilian I on the throne.  Five years later, Maximilian was deposed and executed.  It was a turbulent time…

So…grab the beer (or a cup of tea, if you prefer), head for the hammock, and curl up with The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C. M. Mayo (New in paperback TODAY)

This historical novel chronicles the reign of Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico.  The story opens in Washington, D.C. where an American woman marries a member of the Mexican legation.  The two are later convinced to allow the childless Maximilian to adopt their son, giving him a heir to the throne.  When they change their minds, however, and plead to have their son returned, it sets off an international scandal.

The product of seven years of research in archives from Vienna to Washington, D.C. to Mexico City, this is a fairytale based on a true story.  The author blends fiction with fact through multiple points of view, poetic description, and great character development.  But Mexico is the main character here — its politics, power, and perseverance as a nation through a tumultuous time in its history.

An excellent read for history lovers, book discussion groups, and anyone with a special interest or attachment to the people, culture, and places south of the border.

Check out more info for Cinco de Mayo at National Geographic News and images and photos of the celebration at Fotosearch.


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