This afternoon, I started reading an ARC (Advanced Reading Copy--God, I feel so special having gotten a book that hasn't even hit the shelves yet!) of "Beautiful Maria of My Soul" by Oscar Hijuelos.
I got through the first two chapters.
It's about a woman named Maria, a girl that turned numerous heads in her day with her honey skin, voluptuous figure, and innocent face full of natural beauty. In chapter one, Maria travels to Havana by cab, in which point, she meets a cab driver named Sixto--an ugly man with rotting teeth and a scent so putrid that it reminds you of mutilated cattle. At first, it seemed like Maria could trust Sixto. After all, he wasn't like all the other men, who flattered in exchange for sexual favors. Sixto seemed nice for no apparent reason at all. Until he asks for a kiss. Just like a smelly, flea-ridden dog begging for a belly rub, she reluctantly succumbed to his request. It wasn't as bad as she would've thought; but then he puts her hand on top of his genitals, which have hardened with lust.
Suddenly, it seems like Maria can't really trust him anymore.
End of chapter 2.