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Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite
Mantequero by Jenny Twist is a short story built upon an old Spanish superstition. Also known as Sacamantecas, Mantequero featured in a story parents told their children, to keep them from wandering too far from home. Not at all unlike probably every culture that has ever existed on Earth, Mantequero was the Spanish version of the Boogieman. What made Mantequero unique was that he sucked the fat out of people, apparently women in particular, while kissing and making love to them. At least in Mantequero the story, the woman with whom he had shared his charms was more than happy to invite him into her rented house, while visiting Spain for two weeks. The Sacamantecas could not enter a house unless he was invited, and poor, overweight June had not received such attention from a man since she was 12 years old and her breasts began to develop. ALL the boys liked her, then, but once she started putting on weight she became the butt of their jokes, and little more.
Mantequero is not a fictional character invented by Jenny Twist. She had heard stories about the Mantequero after moving to Spain, and did extensive research to learn more about the legend, but a number of “true” accounts of men killing others for their fat all differed enough that, in the end, Jenny Twist came up with her best estimate of what such a character might have been like. She has done a marvelous job of refining the ideal Sacamantecas. The man on the cover is EXACTLY what I imagined he would look like, too. I suspect that, from now on, Spanish parents need only hand a copy of Mantequero to their children to read. Jenny Twist has perfected the tale!