Sunday, 30 December 2012

Perla

Finished December 28 
Perla by Carolina de Robertis

This is a fascinating novel, set in Argentina, mostly in early 2001. Perla is a young woman studying at university to be a psychologist. She grew up as the only child in a well-off family, and her rather is an officer in the Navy. When she was still in grade school, the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship began to come to light, and Perla began to hide her family background. She realized that her parents were part of the group suspect in the crimes committed, but she felt love for them, particularly for her father. She is one of the few people her father is openly emotional with. 
As the novel begins, her parents are away on a vacation, and Perla is alone at home, agonizing over a recent rift in the relationship with her boyfriend. She becomes suddenly aware of a presence in the house and discovers a naked, wet man on the living room carpet. As she interacts with the man over the next few days, she is forced to face the truth of her own past and make a decision regarding her future.
This is a coming of age story based on the true story of the thousands of disappeared Argentinian people and the hundreds of babies born in secret, torn from their mothers, and given up for adoption to those in positions of power. Gradually those children have been discovering the truth about their origins and the group Madres de la Plaza de Mayo has played a central role.
This book is moving and will capture you from the first page. I always find fascinating those books that can bring historical situations like these to life.

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