Elogio de la madrastra / In Praise of the Stepmother
Novel , 1988
In Praise of the Stepmother is the story of Don Rigoberto, his second wife, Lucrecia, and his son, Alfonso. Their family life together seems to be a happy one. Rigoberto, an insurance company manager, spends his time preening himself for his wife and collecting erotic art. But while Lucrecia is devoted to him, she has her own needs, and soon finds herself the object of young Alfonso's attention.
With meticulous observation and seductive skill, Mario Vargas Llosa explores the mysterious nature of happiness. Little by little, the harmony of his characters is darkened by the shadow of perversion.