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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
Reading Intoxicating Tango by Cherie Magnus took me back to how my mother loved watching those old movies that were centered on beautiful women dancing the tango with handsome Latin men. The smoldering sensuality of the dance itself mesmerized her as Hollywood showed her a passionate excitement missing from her own life. It was, as the title of this memoir suggests, intoxicating.
I’m sure if my mother were alive today to read Cherie Magnus’ account of what it is really like for a North American woman to live in Buenos Aires where tango dancing is a nightly addiction for both locals and tourists, she’d put aside her rose-colored glasses. The insight Cherie gives into a society where women are valued more for their looks and the sexual satisfaction they can give men than as worthwhile, intelligent human beings is what one will remember most from Cherie’s experiences of living, dancing and teaching the tango in Argentina.
If one reads this memoir expecting lots of passionate sex, while Cherie shares details of her love life with her 10-year dancing partner, Ruben, what you will find is the intense passion and addiction Cherie and others have for dancing the tango. You’ll also get some fascinating information on life in BA, along with Havana, Cuba and even Paris, France. But the biggest takeaway, at least for me, was the annoyance I felt toward those Latin men, with their Bible-based, misogynistic attitudes toward women. Typical of most memoirs, Intoxicating Tango relies more heavily on first-person narrative description than dialogue but is nonetheless an engaging read for those passionate about both travel and dancing, especially the tango. Magnus is open and honest about her experiences, and most women will certainly relate to her alternating feelings of heady joy and devastating disappointments. You might fall in love with life in Buenos Aires. Read Intoxicating Tango and decide for yourself.