On the first day of the century, a small town gathers to witness a miracle and unravel its portents: the mysterious reappearance of a lost infant, Pajarita. Later, as a young woman in the capital cityMontevideo, brimming with growth and promisePajarita begins a lineage of independent women. Her daughter Eva, intent on becoming a poet, overcomes an early, shattering betrayal to embark on a most unconventional path toward personal and artistic fulfillment. And Evas daughter Salomé, awakening to both her sensuality and political convictions amidst the violent turmoil of the late 1960s, finds herself dangerously attracted to a cadre of urban guerilla rebels.
From Perón's glittering Buenos Aires to the rustic hills of Rio de Janeiro, from the haven of a Montevideo butchershop to U.S. embassy halls, The Invisible Mountain celebrates a nations spirit, the will to survive in the most desperate of circumstances, and the fierce and complex connections between mother and daughter.
THE GIRL WHO APPEARED
IN A TREE
When Salomé finally wrote to her daughter—by then a young woman, a stranger, thousands of miles away—she said everything that disappears is somewhere, as if physics could turn back time and save them both. It was a maxim she'd learned in school: energy is neither lost nor created. Nothing truly goes away. People are energy too, and when you cannot see them they've just changed places, or changed forms, or sometimes both. There is the exception of black holes, which swallow things without leaving even the slightest trace, but Salomé let her pen keep moving as if they did not exist.
Her skirts were wet and clung to her legs and her pen moved and moved without her hand seeming to push it, forming the spires and spikes and loops of cursive words, sharp t's and j's, y's and g's with knots at their base as though to tie themselves together, tie women back together, and ...
The Invisible Mountain, set in Uruguay, is an incisive examination of some of life’s trickier dilemmas, including when to place family at the forefront, and when to honor your own ideals even at the expense of others. The novel is also an enchanting new entry in the realm of contemporary Latin American literature. De Robertis brings Montevideo, Uruguay's capital, to life in scene after scene; considering the scope and depth of this little-known gem on the banks of the Río de la Plata, it should come as no surprise to learn the work was eight years in the making. It’s been well-worth the wait.
(Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
Full Review (968 words).
Uruguay (map of South America) is home to about 3.5 million people about half of whom live in or around the capital city of Montevideo. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a stronghold. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil, the country won its independence in 1828 following a 500 day conflict.
Early 20th century administrations established widespread political, social, and economic reforms; but a violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. Even though the rebels were crushed by the end of the year, the military remained in control until civilian rule was ...
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