At the end of the nineteenth century, before slavery was outlawed in Imperial Brazil, the beautiful 20-year-old Lucya lived with her wealthy family on a coffee plantation in the countryside of São Paulo city. But, despite the apparent tranquility, life was about to turn very bleak for the well-off family and their slaves.
As during other inhuman moments in world history, the freedom and the rights of countless people were deliberately taken by force in the name of power, money, and greed. In this cruel setting, Lucya’s fate is decided by her father, the feared Baron Rodolfo, proud and insensitive, the patriarch of a renowned and powerful family of coffee growers. For many years, the Baron, an inveterate gambler, squandered the fortune of the family, until one day, his compulsion leads him to incur a huge debt that puts him into bankruptcy, losing the farm and all his slaves.
Ruined and humiliated, the no-longer powerful Baron Rodolfo finds himself obliged for the first time to accept the conditions imposed by another person, the cunning and unscrupulous Frederico. The coward Rodolfo gives his daughter’s hand to his tormentor, a ruthless and cruel man, who conditions the marriage to the beautiful Lucya, as a non-negotiable part of the debt payment.
Desperate and unaware of the truth, Lucya finds herself obliged to accept the unwelcome proposal of Frederico, sacrificing what she wants in her life to save the family. Circumstances of life have given Lucya an unhappy marriage which affects her entire life.
Filled with hatred by the coldness and rejection of his wife, Frederico inflicts consistent abuse on Lucya, that grows cruelly sadistic. Lucya’s resilience and faith give her the love and strength to not give up on life, even more so when she discovers her protective real-life angels in two of the slaves of the farm: mother Nonô and her son Oxalufã.
Throughout this drama of hate and love, arrogance and humility, insanity and wisdom, revenge and forgiveness, revolt and resignation, fear and faith, disillusion and hope, the hand of fate, reaches the characters involved in this story, bringing opportunities for learning and redemption, making them comprehend that, after all, nothing really matters, only love.
When Nothing Matters by Valeria Lopes is filled with many themes. Dark, emotional, and strong, this book has a lot to offer. The story showed how humanity can still survive even in the darkest of times. Hope, faith, and love can never disappear for good. Evil can torment everyone, but the truth and forgiveness sets one free. The cast of characters were realistic. Each one had a purpose in this journey. A journey of redemption and freedom. A variety of characters made the pages pop to life. Death, the afterlife, prayers, and the gift of family were deeply discussed in this novel. There is always hope. That was the main purpose and message I found here. Beautifully told, When Nothing Matters, is a book all should read.
Goodreads link: When Nothing Matters
Amazon link: When Nothing Matters