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One Hundred Bottles, with its intersecting characters and unresolved whodunits, can be read as a murder mystery. But it's really a survivor's story. In a voice that blends gossip, storytelling, and literature, Z--the vivacious heroine of Portela's award-winning novel--relates her rum-soaked encounters with the lesbian underground, the characters carving up her home, and the terrifying-but-irresistible Moises. As entertaining as any detective drama, One Hundred Bottles is ultimately made real by very rough love, intense friendship, and something small that decides to live.