Wisdom From Kammbia Story Review 22: The Little Heidelberg by Isabel Allende

by | May 4, 2023 | Marion's Favorites, Short Story Review, Wisdom From Kammbia Column, Wisdom of Kammbia Story Review | 0 comments

“The Little Heidelberg is a tavern a certain distance from the capital and located on a hill surrounded by banana groves; there, besides good music and invigorating air, they offer a unique aphrodisiac stew made heady with a combination of spices, too heavy for the fiery climate of the region but in perfect harmony with the traditions that activate the proprietor don Rupert.”

Only Isabel Allende’s talent for storytelling could have crafted the above description of the nightclub. The Little Heidelberg is in an unnamed Caribbean city that seems to be from the post World War II era. The nightclub plays polkas, waltzes, and other European folk dances that are in contrast to the music of the region.

El Capitan and his partner Nina Eloisa have danced at The Little Heidelberg for forty years and never spoken a word to each other.  The dance floor was their connection and the communication between each other while dancing became a performance to the patrons that saw them.

One day, El Capitan spoke to his dancing partner and revealed his love for her. His admission was a surprise and she had to make a decision to his request. Unrequited love became real and their relationship would move to a different stage. However, the thing we have wanted the most can slip through our fingers when we least expected it.

Allende’s story shows how a connection can start off in one direction for a long time and change instantly. Also, the power of love can sustain someone when they are in proximity to their beloved. The couple’s dancing can tell you a lot about their relationship in ways you would have never expected. Readers should read The Little Heidelberg to remind us that love matters. This story is included in The Stories of Eva Luna collection and a companion to the novel, Eva Luna. Well done, Isabel Allende.


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