By Clark Collis
Updated June 23, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

When Peruvian jungle-dwelling businessman Don Victor Sobrevilla Paniagua decides in the 1950s that his paper factory should start producing cellophane, the result is an increasingly disastrous plague of truth-telling among his extended family. In the debut novel by Marie Arana, author of the 2001 memoir American Chica, the richly descriptive and, at times, darkly comic tone help you forget the clunky nature of the central conceit. (Cellophane, remember, is…transparent!) But, if we’re being really honest, Cellophane invites comparison with Gabriel García Márquez’s classic One Hundred Years of Solitude on almost every magic realism-infused page, and does so unwisely.