A coming-of-age story, based on a recent shocking chapter of Argentine history, about a young woman who makes a devastating discovery about her origins with the help of an enigmatic houseguest.
Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires, with a cold, polished mother and a straitlaced naval officer father, whose profession she learned early on not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, but her love for her papá is unconditional. But when Perla is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has suppressed all her life, and to make a wrenching decision about who she is, and who she will become.
©2012 Carolina De Robertis (P)2012 Random House
Absolutely. I was really moved by the way a political story about Argentinia's disappeared was told so beautifully and I loved the language. Unlike the other reviewer I didn't mind at all that a dead man/ ghost turned up in a living room. Whether you call it magical realism or whatever - this is a story about the past returning to the present and trying to make peace with it. The past happens to be personified and not 'factual' and to me that's a bonus.
As per above - the idea of the past returning as a missing person. And also the language. Poetic and visual, potently emotional without being trite. I kept on re-listening.
It took me a while to get used to the reading. It's true that all the characters sound the same, it's not read by an actor who impersonates the different people. But after a while I didn't mind and the voice and style of reading actually went with the content book. With the impersonation it could have sounded like theatre - this was a less tangible story that took shape in my head in a very personal way.
I hope they don't make a film of this. You couldn't play the disappeared man from the past who turns up in the living room without him looking like a zombie. The strength of this story is it's dream-like quality.
I look forward to more from this author
"Talking to the Dead"
Plot move faster. The idea that someone just shows up, dead, and draining water was hard to accept, believe, or enjoy.
I would read another book by her. She can write well and expand on setting and descriptions. Her vocabulary was excellent.
Her voice and intonation was the same for all characters. I did not enjoy listening to her read it.
The character, Perla, struggling to come to terms with her past—no problem. Her boyfriend, for his young age of 25, it was not easy to believe that he had the maturity to deal with her. She rehashed the same thing, Perla that is, so much that it was hard not to feel exasperated.
Not a book I enjoyed much.
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