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A Few Good Aruba Beach Reads, Part 1:”An Island Away”

When travelling to Aruba I always bring along enough reading material to see me through my visit, but I still like to search the island for a good book with some local Aruban flavor. Since I can only speak and read English, my choices are limited. Once in a while, though, I find a gem.  Last year I discovered Daniel  Putkowski’s novel, An Island Away. Not only does the author tell a good story, but you’ll also learn a heck of a lot about Aruba that may not be apparent after one or two visits. This island is not just about beaches and timeshares.  Aruba’s not so well kept secret is its bustling, legalized prostitution industry. The women are licensed and subject to periodic health inspections.  Most of the prostitution is confined to the city of San Nicolas, far from the tourist hotels and casinos. The seamy, steamy nightlife of San Nicolas is accurately revealed in all its glory.  You’ll also learn about places you may not have explored yet, like Savaneta, or the site of the old Lago refinery colony.  A good bit of the action centers around Charlie’s Bar, a major Aruba tourist destination and San Nicolas landmark. A word of caution, though: You may never look at the island in the same way again.

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