In Conversation in the Cathedral, Mario Vargas Llosa gives his readers access to former President Manuel A. Odria’s dictatorship in Peru in the early 1950s. The two main characters share memories about their past through a conversation happening in a cathedral. In this conversation we get a glimpse of what the society in Lima was like. Themes in this book include political corruption, sexual degradation, and repression. There are plots and subplots and the narrative jumps around making the novel challenging to read. However, this is one of Mario Vargas Llosa’s best novels and I would recommend it as a read over break!