Monday, April 14, 2014

G311 Book Review of City of Promises by D Grant Fitter

Name of Book: City of Promises

Author: D. Grant Fitter

ISBN: 9781477544365

Publisher: CreateSpace

Type of book: Mexico City, Mexico, Alvarez, 1943-1948, politics, struggle, bus routes, night clubs, establishing self, ejido, military, President Aleman, President Avilo Camacho

Year it was published: 2013


Rip-Roaring Historical Novel Thrusts Readers into Unpredictable 1940s Mexico City.

When one credulous young country boy with lofty plans leaves his Mexican rural life for the promise and riches of the ‘big city’, will it live up to its reputation? In a unique fusion of fact and fiction, author D. Grant Fitter's social commentary gives a rare insight into life south of the border, recapturing the golden era of one of the world’s most eclectic cities.

"They call this the city of promise, Arturo, but it is a city of promises and very few of those promises are true."

Mexico City has always held a charm and allure that millions are unable to resist. Taking a trip back in time, CITY OF PROMISES revisits 1940s Mexico City, where one young man is coming of age with capricious gusto.

Arturo Fuentes' rise, his loves, and his relations with shady characters tell the compelling story of a place that both touched the hearts and shattered the dreams of millions.


Main characters would include Arturo Fuentes, a Native American? of Mexican ancestry who comes from ejido to strike big. He is intelligent, tries to keep abreast of events and doesn't trust people. He also has a good sense for what to do, how to expand and when to pull back. There is also Mercedes/Meche, a Rumba dancer about five years older than he. She is very independent and is acquainted with many movers and shakers in Mexico City. She also tends to be insecure and loves her independence a whole lot. I also guess she's not good with change. There's Ana, who is a courtesan of sorts and she's observant and no matter what sticks to her convictions. I had some trouble with the men in the book, but I'll do my best. First there's Serrano, one of the movers and shakers and who happens to become Arturo's opponent, there is also Justin Zamudio who warns Arturo against Serrano and so forth.


"They call this a city of promise, Arturo, but it is a city of promises and very few of those promises are true." (Ana to Arturo, page 12)


The book is written in first person narrative from Arturo's point of view. From what I understood, Arturo is sharing his views and story with a man when the sections are italicized, and the regular sections is the story that's shared. (I forgot the term for that style of writing.) The story itself is chronological and the characters seem to defy stereotypes. Most fascinating aspects for me was learning about politics and how everything worked in Mexico City. (Okay, I liked the corruption aspect, and how everything was rigged.)

Author Information:

D. Grant Fitter is a citizen of North America. Born in Ontario, Canada and educated in Colorado, USA, he is convinced he was Mexican in his previous life. How else to explain such a strong attraction to Mexico and all things Mexican, including his wife.
His business career includes long stints of work in Mexico before yielding to a pesky urge to pursue freelance journalism for seventeen years. Meanwhile, Fitter’s Mexican roots continued to call. City of Promises is the product of his curiosity to understand why the culture of our close neighbors is so distant from our own.
He lives in Toronto and whenever possible, in a sunny hillside casita in the colonial town of Taxco, Guerrero.

Author Links


I don't know too much about Mexico City, nor about Mexico, especially the glamor and life of 1940s. The only Mexico I'm familiar with is in 1800s, and modern day Mexico, thus I was surprised to learn that just over 70 years back, Mexico was a wealthy and glamorous city that enticed a lot of people to come over and live up to their potential. Although a number of things were a little beyond me when it came to business, I was able to understand the story and what was going on. I was also surprised at how different the Mexican culture is from ours, and how women had to accept and understand mistresses. What also is remarkable is the role women played in Arturo's life: Mercedes introducing him to the movers and shakers, while Ana helped him understand Mercedes and also warned him from trying to get deeply into the mess. In some cases, I also would have liked if the Spanish words would have been italicized or something, or there might have been a brief dictionary of Spanish words.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, April 14
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, April 16
Review at Book Nerd
Friday, April 18
Interview at Caroline Wilson Writes
Monday, April 21
Spotlight & Giveaway at The Bookworm
Wednesday, April 23
Guest Post at Layered Pages
Thursday, April 24
Interview at From the TBR Pile
Thursday, May 1
Review at Book Journey
Monday, May 5
Review & Giveaway at Closed the Cover
Wednesday, May 7
Guest Post at Jorie Loves a Story
Thursday, May 8
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
Friday, May 9
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection
Monday, May 12
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, May 15
Review at Reviews by Molly

This is for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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