"Ruth describes the choreography of bullfighting with as much grace and sophistication as one might find in a history of ballet or tango dancing. Readers will find themselves absolutely unable to look away. This searing, sensual novel is an adventure not to be missed."
Globe and Mail, May 25, 2013, Read the full review here.
"Luna must be counted among the most vital and alluring of Canada’s literary heroines. She simply enthralls. Ruth commits fully to her task, delivering a rare and indelible tale that engages the reader — body and soul. A wonderful book." National Post, April 26, 2013
Read the full review here.
"The scenes in the bullring are technically precise and vividly portrayed, capturing the passion of the aficionados in the stands, as well as the ritualistic tango between toro and torero that usually ends with spilled blood. The erotic scenes, which include queer trysts of both male and female varieties, are earthy and rich. With strong prose and thematic sophistication, Matadora marries dynamic storytelling and a provocative meditation on power, pleasure, and identity. Ruth allows for some suspense, keeping several key developments under wraps until finally springing them on the reader. This includes the novel’s bravura ending, which is quite simply stunning." Quill & Quire, June 2013, Read the full review here.
Matadora is set in 1930's Spain and Mexico, and centres on a girl named Luna Caballero Garcia. Luna is orphaned young and a servant of the famed Garcia family. She is determined to become a bullfighter, despite her lowly station in life and the fact that women are prohibited from graduating to the status of matador-do-toros. She burns for the ring, and is willing to bend or break any rule to enter it.
Fortunately, Luna finds unlikely patrons in her master’s sons. Manuel, an aspiring poet and socialist, sees in his surrogate sister the genius he wishes he was; Pedro sees a chance to make an astonishing amount of money. The trio decides to travel abroad where Luna will have the opportunity to prove her skill, but she knows her true destiny lies in the blood-soaked sands of home.
Matadora is a powerful, compelling exploration of love and ambition. The pain that drives our ambition, the yearning for love it reveals, the lengths we go to win love, and the price we pay along the way. Matadora is about someone like you, trying against all odds, to win love.