Excerpt from The Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Invisible Mountain

By Carolina De Robertis

The Invisible Mountain
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Aug 2009,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2010,
    448 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The group doubled, and doubled again, growing the way armies do as they sweep through towns. By the time they arrived at the ceibo tree, the sun had brushed its zenith and begun to slide. The tree towered over the eastern well, and at the very top, thirty meters from solid earth, grasping a slim branch, there perched a girl.

She was not quite a year old. Her skin was two shades lighter than hot chocolate and she had high cheekbones and chaotic hair that spilled to her naked waist. Her eyes were round and moist like birthday cakes. She looked neither afraid nor eager to descend.

Artigas threw his head back. He burned to catch her eye. Mírame, he thought.

"She's a witch!" one woman said.

"A bruja sent us a brujita!"

"Don't be ridiculous," snapped Doña Rosa. "She's an angel. She's here to bless Tacuarembó."

"With what? A rain of baby caca?"

"That's no angel, it's just a child."

"A dirty one."

"Maybe she's one of the Garibaldi kids. They're always climbing trees."

"Only the Garibaldi boys climb trees."

"And they only climb ombús."

"That's true. How could anyone get up this trunk?"

The necks of fifty tacuaremboenses craned up at the girl. The tree looked impossible to scale. If it had been a native ombú, with its low, inviting branches, there would have been no miracle or legend or ninety years of carrying the story. But here was the tallest ceibo known to Tacuarembó, its lowest branch many meters from the ground. No one could imagine an adult shimmying up with a baby in her arms, let alone a baby's lonely climb.

"Very well. Doña Rosa, you've got your miracle."

"Our miracle."

"Miracles are miracles, what more can we say?"

"Only thanks be to God."

"If you say so."

"I do. I certainly do."

"I meant no harm."

"Hmm."

"Look, everybody, let's not quarrel."

"We've got to find a way to get her down."

"A ladder!"

"Let's shake her out."

"There's no ladder big enough—I know, I made them all."

"I could climb the tree—"

"You can barely climb onto your horse, hombre!"

"We should wait for a sign—"

"And what? Leave her up there for another century?"

The infant sat high above the din, impassive, barely moving. Artigas thought: Mírame. She turned her head, this way, that way, and their eyes met. You. You. Their gaze had flesh, their gaze had strength, their gaze was a branch between them, invisible, unbreakable, bound to last forever, or so it seemed.

"I know her," he shouted. "She's my sister."

Fifty faces turned toward the boy.

"Your sister?"

"What sister?"

"Ay . . . he means . . ."

"Poor thing."

"Look, Artigas." Carlita Robles knelt beside him. "This can't be her."

"Why not?"

"She's been gone too long."

"She couldn't have survived."

"Little girls can't survive alone."

"But she did," Artigas said.

Carlita and Doña Rosa exchanged a glance.

"Besides," he added, "if it's not her, where did this girl come from?"

Excerpted from The Invisible Mountains by Carolina De Robertis Copyright © 2009 by Carolina De Robertis. Excerpted by permission of Knopf. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Goldfinch
    The Goldfinch
    by Donna Tartt
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Fiction.

    Her canvas is vast. To frame a story about art, love and ...
  • Book Jacket: Toms River
    Toms River
    by Dan Fagin
    Winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction

    In Toms River, investigative journalist Dan Fagin ...
  • Book Jacket: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
    by Gabrielle Zevin
    I feel like Gabrielle Zevin wrote this wonderful book, about a lonely New England bookstore owner ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  254Cartwheel:
    Jennifer duBois
  2.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin

All Discussions

Who Said...

We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don't like?

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.