Sunday, May 27, 2012

Perla, by Carolina De Robertis

Barnes & Noble

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.

**I won this book from Goodreads as a First Reads giveaway**

3.5 stars.

Previous knowledge of Argentine history: There was once a woman named Eva Peron who did something or other. Madonna played her in a movie.

This book is great. Based on a culmination of true stories, it tells the story of a young woman whose parents were involved in the Dirty War of 1976-1983. Now, as an adult, she learns that her whole life was based on a lie.

I love the writing, though it seemed too flowery in some areas. I'm usually annoyed by writing styles that don't include "proper" punctuation, but it works in this novel. Perla, the narrator and protagonist, is confused and jumbled, so it makes sense that her thoughts are written as such.

New knowledge of Argentine history: El Proceso, the Dirty War, 30,000 forced disappearances of "subversive" leftist individuals. And Eva Peron was the first wife of President Peron, who was much loved by the Argentine people for her humanity and work with the under-privileged.

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