The Bad Girl, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When the beautiful teenage Lily arrives in Lima in 1950, fifteen-year-old Ricardo falls instantly in love with her.

She claims to be from Chile, but vanishes the moment it becomes clear that she has lied about both her name and her nationality.

A decade later, now living in Paris, Ricardo falls in love with a woman named Comrade Arlette, who is incredibly similar to Lily but refuses to acknowledge that she is the same person.

For his whole life, Ricardo seems doomed to keep running into 'Lily', and to keep falling in love with her.

Will he ever discover who she really is?


Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

From the age of 15 when Ricardo first meets the titular bad girl he falls utterly and hopelessly in love. Just when he's sure that she will acquiesce to his advances events transpire that she disappears from his life. Leaving Peruvian life behind, Ricardo pursues his other dream of living in Paris and working as a translator allows him to do this. He becomes friends with a fellow Peruvian who is helping potential revolutionaries on their way to train in Cuba. Ricardo occasionally assists in finding places to stay for those en route. He's surprised when one of these turns out to be the bad girl. Once again he starts to enjoy his romance but she soon disappears from his life without a backward glance.Over the next few decades Ricardo manages to encounter his bad girl and each time he does he is powerless to stop her from treating him like a doormat. She takes advantage of his feelings and takes what she wants from him before deserting him to look for her newest <i>sugar daddy</i>. Some of their meetings stretch coincidence to breaking point but however contrived the outcome is always the same. You never really feel for the characters but the story remains interesting throughout. There are some disturbing events detailed in this book so it's not one for the faint of heart. Quite difficult to put my finger on whether I liked this one or not.

Also by Mario Vargas Llosa   |  View all