De Robertis, Carolina
Argentina's Dirty War of the 1970s and 80s is a war that most people know little about. So too for Perla Correa, daughter of a military family, who is cocooned from the harsh realities of life in a country with questionable political regimes by her family's privileged position. However, Perla's search for the truth of her background reveals some shocking occurrences and sheds light on a tragic period of Argentinean history.
Its basis in true events combined with the characteristic Latin American use of magic realism creates a compelling, harrowing yet fascinating story. [Larger font]
Comments from Groups
A challenging read, but the discussion was really helpful for those who struggled with content. Whakatane 008
The book created a lot of discussion. We were impressed by the language and complexity of the story, and the horrors that happened. All members persevered and finished the book. Very thought provoking. It created much interest in the history of Argentina. Whakatane 005
Thank you - everyone enjoyed this one! Auckland 216
Most of our group thought this book was well written, and an interesting story. Some were not impressed with the use of the 'ghost' character, but could not think of another way to tell the story. Auckland 039
Most people really enjoyed it, and we had a lively discussion. Many felt that the 'wet man' was overdone. Members were inspired to do further reading around 'the disappeared' in Peru and Chile. Masterton 003
A popular book that lead to a thought provoking discussion about adoption and identity. Christchurch 315
This novel is presented as an autobiography, set in the aftermath of the horror years of the rule by the military dictatorship in Argentina. Opinions of the book differed in our group. Some thought it barely worth reading, some welcomed learning the grisly details of the period of military rule, some enjoyed it as a story despite weaknesses in the writing, still others found gems to admire in the writing.
Varied response to the style of writing. Most people found it thought provoking, and it generated much discussion about the plot development. Historical content was illuminating, especially it being modern history. Would recommend it as a book group choice.
Mixed initial reception, but most got deeply engrossed. Discussion was brilliant.
The mysterious apparition was a clever way of telling the story, although it did become a bit tiresome until the reason was revealed. The horrific facts of the 'Disappeared' stories was compelling.
Mixed reactions to the book. Some really enjoyed it, others found the violence disturbing. All agreed that it took a while to get into it, but worth persevering as we all learnt a lot.
Fascinating book, amazing how few people knew anything about the 'Dirty War'.
Group really enjoyed this read. Also enjoyed learning about the 'stolen children', of which many weren't aware.
Divided opinions on this book - we all however agreed that the historical element was horrific yet drew us in to understand more. At times, the narrative was a little confusing at the beginning in regard to changing tense. Those that loved it found it poetic and compelling.
Some loved it, others not at all, but it certainly generated lively discussion!
Only half the group read the book, but the half that did enjoyed it, although found it a little strange.
We all enjoyed this book. We were all interested to learn more about what happened in Argentina after reading this.
Some were put off by the torture scenes early on. Others loved it.
Mixed reaction to this book - some loved it, while others found it difficult. The 'water man' was something some could not relate to.
The group agreed that the magical realism at times was a distraction in the telling of the story of Argentina's war.