I read this in the original Spanish, but here is the brief synopsis from Goodreads:
In a Latin American port city during colonial times, a young girl named Sierva Maria de Todos los Angeles is bitten by a rabid dog. Her father, who has shown no interest in the child, begins a crusade to save her life, eventually committing her to the Convent of Santa Clara when the bishop persuades him that his daughter is possessed by demons. In fact, Sierva Maria has shown no signs of being infected by rabies or by demons; she is simply being punished for being different. Having been raised by the family's slaves, she knows their languages and wears their Santeria necklaces; she is perceived by the effete European Americans around her as "not of this world." Only the priest who has reluctantly accepted the job as her exorcist believes she is neither sick nor possessed but terrified after being inexplicably "interred alive" among the superstitious nuns.
I love Garcia Marquez's writing. It is so flowery and beautiful that many times during this book I caught myself smiling for no other reason than the veloptuosness of his phrases.
The story is quite sad, but he manages to fill it with light. He takes these sometimes horrible moments in Sierva Maria's life and gives them a bouyancy that sometimes made me wonder if the whole book is a dark comedy. This happens in all his books, but it always catches me by surprise.
This book really is worth reading. Smartly crafted and, because of it's shortness, fast paced, it is a prime example of Marquez's genius.
Oh, if you are able, read it in Spanish. I'm sure it looses some flavor in translation.
4 out of 5 Stars