The book is available in Portuguese on the paperback (click here).

Author: Alvaro Mendes
Publisher: 7letras

Marital betrayal is the theme that drives the four stories in the book. How will they react and what motivations could generate the turning point that makes betrayal unbearable for four women of the 16th, 18th, 20th and 21st centuries? With a rigorous reconstitution of the period and mixing historical and fictional characters, four Marias come to life.

The first of them is a Portuguese noblewoman whose life was interrupted by exile and who came to Brazil with the caravels of the first expeditions. She settles with her husband in the captaincy of São Vicente, where, although isolated, she lives with Portuguese, French, indigenous people and an African.

The second is the heiress of a camp with mining rights in Vila Rica in Minas Gerais. After problems arising from the Inconfidência Mineira movement, she is forced to flee with her husband to Rio de Janeiro. There it remains until the arrival of the royal family.

The story of the third is told by letters, memos and diaries. It is a Black worker leader, daughter of a slave, who was born on the very day of the abolitionist law. She lives between the factory and anarchist newspapers, covering important events, such as Semana de 22, Coluna Prestes and Estado Novo.

The fourth story is in WhatsApp format. From the first message, in which the betrayal is evident, all the other messages begin to scrutinize the professional, family and relationship circle of the protagonist.

According to journalist, poet, writer and literary critic Fernando Andrade, “Quatro Marias, by Alvaro Mendes, is a book of short stories moved by fittings: by the mosaic structure with its parts-short stories connected in a background, which reverberates the history of the country culturally. It is also a book that listens to this story in its most fabled and romantic novel; amplifies the study of the feminine and feminism, dialoguing with blocks of movements from the floor of the carriage of a society that has evolved little in terms of human material. During the writing process, the movement is dialectical because he thinks of his stories as hegemonic blocks of the history of Brazilian patriarchal society. ‘Marias’ get to know each other between the first stories and the second and third, the individuality of the characters is amalgamating into a solid gender awareness. In the last short story, in theatrical format, the breaking of genre stereotypes and new associations between the virtual and the private space give the notion of a new critical structure, both in writing and in the way of seeing and understanding social and personal relationships.”

Free translation of Quatro Marias’ synopsis


The book is very quick to read. Changing characters and settings can be a little challenging at first, but it’s worth it.

My favorite story was the last one that leaves an open ending about what happened and faithfully traces a conversation between a couple in the present day.

It’s worth it if you like short story books and period dramas/romances.

⭐Book received from partnership⭐

Interested in the book? Buy it here.


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