The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain

Book - 2009
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Random House, Inc.
With her distinctive storytelling abilities and indelibly drawn characters, Carolina De Robertis illuminates a dark moment in contemporary Latin America. Intimate with the region, she crafts an emotionally pitch-perfect tale of a young woman who makes a horrifying—but ultimately liberating—discovery about her origins.

Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires with a polished, aloof 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. 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 who she will become.

This rich human drama is based on the truth of thirty thousand disappeared Argentinean citizens and five hundred babies who were born in clandestine detention centers, torn from their mothers, and secretly given up for adoption. In the years that followed this dark time, some of these children have discovered the identities of their true families, and they continue to do so today. Perla brings history to life as only fiction can, in an intimate, unforgettable portrait of one young woman’s explosive search for truth. De Robertis unfolds a gripping and historically resonant tale with keen-eyed compassion, luminous prose, and a startling vision of the incomparable power of love.

Baker & Taylor
Follows the story of the fiercely independent women of the Firielli family as their lives, relationships, and the pursuit of their dreams take them from Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and the United States.

Blackwell North Amer
From the verdant hills of Rio de Janeiro to Evita Peron's glittering Buenos Aires, from the haven of a corner butcher shop to the halls of the United States Embassy in Montevideo, this novel - at once expansive and lush with detail - examines the intertwined fates of a continent and a family in upheaval. The Invisible Mountain is a deeply intimate exploration of the search for love and authenticity in the lives of three women, and a penetrating portrait of the small, tenacious nation of Uruguay, shaken by the gales of the twentieth century.
On the first day of the year 1900, a small town deep in the Uruguayan countryside gathers to witness a miracle - the mysterious reappearance of a lost infant, Pajarita - and unravel its portents for the century. Later, as a young woman in the capital city - Montevideo, brimming with growth and promise - Pajarita begins a lineage of fiercely independent women with her enamored husband, Ignazio, a young immigrant from Italy and the inheritor of both a talent for boat making and a latent, more sinister family trait. Their daughter, Eva, a fragile yet ferociously stubborn beauty intent on becoming a poet, overcomes an early, shattering betrayal to embark on a most unconventional path toward personal and artistic fulfillment. And Eva's daughter, Salome, awakening to both her sensuality and political convictions amid the violent turmoil of the late 1960s, finds herself dangerously attracted to a cadre of urban guerrilla rebels, despite the terrible consequences of such principled fearlessness.
The Invisible Mountain is a poignant celebration of the potency of familial love, the will to survive in the most hopeless of circumstances, and, above all, the fierce, fortifying connection between mother and daughter.

& Taylor

Follows the story of three generation of women of the Firielli family as they search for love and identity during the tumultuous political events of twentieth-century Uruguay.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307271631
Branch Call Number: F ROB
Characteristics: 364 p. ; 25 cm


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Jun 16, 2016

I discovered Carolina de Robertis in her novel Gods of Tango which made me want to go back and read her other works. Definitely enjoyed Gods of Tango and this book reminded me of it as well. Love de Robertis detail and style of writing. Makes an interesting and delicious summer read.

Mar 13, 2016

This is a novel about a family history revolving around three strong women. It’s a look at a grandmother, daughter and granddaughter and travels between Buenos Aires Argentina and Montevideo Uruguay. The grandmother Pajarita married the love of her live, Ignazio, who leaves her and the three children penniless. Pajarita survives her life in Montevideo by selling healing herbs. She hopes that her daughter Eva will have a better life and an opportunity for an education. But at 10 Eva is sent off to work in the shoe store of a lecherous friend of her father’s. She hates it and what he forces her to do. Disgusted she ends up waiting tables at a restaurant frequented by poets and ends up following her childhood friend to Buenos Aires, where it looks like she’ll live the charmed life as the wife of a medical doctor. But her political writing puts her on the wrong side of the dictator Peron and she, her husband and two children flee to Montevideo. With the defeat of Peron, her husband deserts her and returns to Buenos Aires. Eva and her two children return to live with her mother and father. Now the hope for a college education lies with the granddaughter of Parajita, Salome. But Salome gets caught up in the socialist movement sweeping the world and lands in prison, but like her grandmother and mother before her, she’s strong and will survive. I had a little trouble believing that two 13 year-olds really were able be such able guerillas and I would have liked a little more background in the political story, but that would have made the book a tome rather than a readable book. I came away satisfied, although I would love to know more about some of the supporting characters.

melwyk Feb 13, 2012

This was a fabulous book -- complex, with a huge cast of characters who are all fully realized, even if not always likeable. It covers 3 generations of women and all the upheavals of their lives. The unsung star of the book is Uruguay itself, specifically Montevideo. I learned reams about the history and culture and landscape of Uruguay without even realizing it. The setting was so skillfully interwoven into the story, and such a key element in the events of all their lives, that it became just as important as the family dynamics. Of course, there are many, many dramatic events in the years that this book covers, so simply by living where they did, this family was in for some upheaval. From women's rights to civil war to gender identity and more, this story has it all. Yet it doesn't feel "issue-heavy". It feels like a sprawling family saga with lush surroundings, unfamiliar enough to me to be truly fascinating while reading. There is some movement between Uruguay and Argentina, Brazil and the US, but the primary setting is Uruguay and it is lovingly evoked.


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Jun 16, 2016

"So this is what joy does to a woman, she thought: it makes you hungry, makes you long to live and live, makes you guard the secret at any cost, wakes the animal inside and makes her growl to break the heavens into pieces."


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