The book opens with a story called "Five Windows On The Same Side." In this narrative you meet the unhappily married Mayté Perdomo. When Mayté's husband goes to Chicago on a business trip, her second cousin, Laura, comes to visit from Cuba. Mayté is liberated by the affair that occurs between them, and chooses not to move to Chicago with her husband. (She's also mentioned, in a later story, by a different female lover.)
In "The Scent of Wild Desire," Mayté's neighbor, Rodolfo, finds himself in an interesting situation when his 400-pound, scantily clad neighbor accidentally locks herself out of her apartment. When Rodolfo invites this woman into his home while she awaits a locksmith, he is overcome with incredible nausea from the odor she emits. Suddenly, he finds himself excited by the smell--almost obsessed with it--and before you can turn the page, the two are entwined on the living room sofa.
The narratives in The Forbidden Stories are shocking, revealing and at times repulsive--but entertaining to read. Rivera-Valdés has written an intelligent, thought-provoking web of tales that explores various cultural and sexual dynamics through characters you come to know intimately by the book's close.