Perla: Book summary and reviews of Perla by Carolina De Robertis

Perla
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2012
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. De Robertis's lyrical flights are grounded in the fulfillment of the most desperate wishes of disappeared parents and their children, culminating in a wrenching catharsis about rebirth and healing." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Lyrically combining into reality both the fantastic and the horrific, De Robertis weaves a beautiful and plain-faced tale about birth, rebirth, and the responsibility of inheritance from complex, startling history." - Booklist

"Starred Review. A translator, short fiction writer, and novelist... De Robertis skillfully weaves a lyrical voice around her characters that treats victims, perpetrators, and bystanders with the same care and honesty." - Library Journal

"An elegantly written and affecting meditation on life in the wake of atrocity." - Kirkus Reviews

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Reader Reviews

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Diane S.

Perla
This is a novel about Argentina, about the men and women who "disappeared"under their dictatorship and about the mothers and grandmothers who protested in the square demanding the return of their son, daughters and grandchildren. It is a novel about a young woman named Perla, the secrets in her house and the truths she does not want to face. I was first drawn to this novel by the cover and the title, before I even knew what this book was about. The prose is elegant and beautiful, even when at times the subject matter is horrific. The use of magic realism is seamless and blended into the novel in such a cohesive way I can't imagine the story without it. It is a novel where one savors the words, rereads and envies the writer's abilities. By the time I came to the story's end I found I was shivering. Absolutely astounding telling of a country's history and a young woman's search for herself.

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Author Information

Carolina De Robertis Author Biography

Carolina De Robertis is the author of Perla and The Invisible Mountain, which was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, the recipient of Italy's Rhegium Julii Prize, and a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle; O, The Oprah Magazine; and BookList. Her writings and literary translations have appeared in Zoetrope: Allstory, Granta, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She is the translator of Alejandro Zambra's Bonsái, which was made into a feature film, and Roberto Ampuero's internationally bestselling The Neruda Case. De Robertis has been awarded a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

De Robertis grew up in a Uruguayan family that immigrated to England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her ...

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