Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Perla by Carolina de Robertis - TLC Book Tour

Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires with a polished yet aloof mother and a straight-laced Naval officer father, whose profession she learned early not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Although Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, her love for her Papá is unconditional. But when she is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has long suppressed, and make a wrenching decision about who she is, and will become.


 If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be TOUCHING.

One of my reasons for reading is not only to be taken into another world, to distract myself with the everyday happenings, but it's to be touched deeply by a book.

Very few have done that, but then again very few are written with such intensity as this one is.

Perla is this amazing young girl who finds herself struggling between loving and hating her parents for the part they played during the "Dirty War" of the late 1970's and early 1980's in which her own father, was a Captain in the Navy. 

The story starts taking shape, the minute that a man, naked, shows up at her door while her parents are away.  She begins to take care of her, and it's through these conversations and these flashbacks to her childhood, that Perla begins putting together the pieces, so to speak.

The author does an amazing job of taking us back to a tumultuous time, when over 30 000 people disappeared.   It's a tough pill to swallow as she begins to understand and realize how her father was involved in these horrific acts, and how her mother seemed to turn a blind eye.

I can't even imagine living my life believing things happened a certain way, and then slowly beginning to realize that nothing is what it seems.

The very first sentence in the book is:   Some things are impossible for the mind to hold alone.

And for this book, for this character, it rings unbelievably true.

What a fascinating book to read.   The author was brilliant in her execution of the story, in the vivid details and the hold she had on me.  I couldn't look away, she had my full attention from the beginning until the end.

Again, one word:  TOUCHING!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a review copy.


Maria said...

Nice Post, I am curious to read this.
I already read Carolina de Robertis` book "The Invisible Mountain" and I loved it very much.

Carolina De Robertis said...

Dearest Sandra - thank you so much for your kind and truly heartfelt review of PERLA. I am moved to hear the way you were moved by it. You're absolutely right that the circumstances of the main character's life - based on real historical events - are incredible to contemplate. I myself was amazed many times during my research. And I'm so glad to hear that the book held your attention so vividly. I'm honored!

@ Maria: hello - and thanks for commenting! I'm so delighted to hear that you enjoyed my first book, The Invisible Mountain. I hope that, if you do reach for Perla, you enjoy it was well.

To all readers of this warm blog, my love and my thanks for your passion for books!

Mari said...

Sounds like a really good book. I'm also touched that the author left this personal note!

trish said...

I agree that I read to be touched by a book, and those books that accomplish that are few and far between.

I'm so glad you loved this book! Thanks for being on the tour!

Camila said...

You definitely need to go to Argentina in order to understand this novel. The importance the dictatorship and the irty war are crucial if you want to grasp the feelings the girl may have in a society that "hates" the army and everything about it.
This was one of the reasons I travelled to Argentina. I stayed in an apartment in buenos aires  and went to see the museum E. S. M. A. (where the history of the dictatorship is told in pictures, written documents and oral witnesses). I now feel I know more about it and consider myself able to talk about the subject!