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The Queen of the South

Seeing the advertisement for the American television series Queen of the South surprised me, as it’s bringing a story we’re quite familiar with in our household to a larger audience. 

In our home we speak Spanish and English, and we’re always looking at the Library’s selection of resources that are available in Spanish. We have read plenty of books, listened to plenty of music and watched plenty of movies, but we had never ventured into Spanish TV.  That changed when we stumbled upon La Reina Del Sur Volumes One and Two.  We absolutely loved this series, even though it took us months to watch it all, as we usually only watched on weekends after the kids went to bed.

La Reina del Sur is the story of Teresa Mendoza, played by Kate Del Castillo, a popular actress who had a relationship with real-life drug-kingpin Joaquín “el Chapo” Guzmán.  Teresa’s drug-trafficking boyfriend is murdered by the Sinaloa cartel, and now they’re coming for her.  Forced to flee to Spain, she starts a new life, but soon falls into the world of drug trafficking again, this time transporting drugs from Morocco across the Mediterranean to the southern coast of Spain.  


During this time Teresa lives in Melilla, a Spanish enclave in North Africa that I had no idea even existed.  It’s amazing seeing the intersection of North African, European and Latin American stories.  The scenery is beautiful, and  you get to hear a lot of different Spanish accents, including Spanish speakers of Arabic descent.  

Through plenty of twists, turns and lovers the story takes Teresa to the Iberian peninsula, and dealings with the Russian and Italian mafias. I don’t want to give away too many of the details, but some characters from her past in Mexico end up finding her whereabouts, so her days of running from the Mexican cartels aren’t over, even though she is a drug kingpin in her own right.  The ending is spectacular, and I will not give up the secret of what happened.  

After viewing the series, I found out it is based on the novel by the same title by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.  The book lacks the telenovela drama, but is well written and just as suspenseful as the series. I’d never heard about Pérez-Reverte before, but we have quite a selection of his titles in English and Spanish, so I hope to read more in the near future.  Actually, La Reina del Sur the book is available in English too!  

The fortune of finding Spanish TV at the library has continued as we have since checked out Capadocia, Las 2 Caras de Ana (Ana’s Two Faces), and Llena de Amor (Full of Love). What surprises have you stumbled upon in our catalog?    

-Scott M.

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Scott M. is the Assistant in the Office of Programs and Partnerships at East Liberty. When not busy running around with his two daughters, he likes reading non-fiction, learning languages, gardening and cooking.

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