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  • Posted June 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Long Term Affects of War

    Perla by Car­olina De Rober­tis is a his­tor­i­cal fic­tion book about Argentina’s Dirty War. The author is a daugh­ter to Uruguayan par­ents, but her grand­par­ents were Argen­tineans in exile.

    Perla, a young woman and a uni­ver­sity stu­dent, seeks to find answers. The tra­di­tion in her fam­ily is to not to ask ques­tions, espe­cially about her father’s activ­i­ties dur­ing the time known as Argentina’s Dirty War. As Perla grows up, she sep­a­rates her fam­ily life from her per­sonal life.

    One day, after Perla arrives home she finds a strange man in her liv­ing room. The man is soaked and oozes water all the time, sur­pris­ing even her­self, Perla reacts to this “vision” by giv­ing him food and shel­ter only to real­ize that he is one of the “dis­ap­peared”, a vic­tim of the Dirty War, and might hold the key to her past.

    I very much enjoyed The Invis­i­ble Moun­tain (my thoughts) and when I got the email to ask if I’d like to join the tour for Car­olina De Rober­tis’ Perla I jumped at the oppor­tu­nity. The novel has many aspects one could see it from it is a com­ing of age story, his­tor­i­cal lit­er­a­ture and super­nat­ural aspects so promi­nent in Latin literature.

    One thing is for cer­tain, Ms. De Rober­tis (web­site | Face­book |Twit­ter) can write, Perla is a beau­ti­ful novel about an ugly sit­u­a­tion. Even the parts about the hor­ren­dous acts the Argen­tinean gov­ern­ment com­mit­ted against its own peo­ple are beau­ti­fully written.

    “The day the black boots came for him was a pretty day, with bright blue slices of sky between the buildings”.

    As in many of the books I read, espe­cially about World War II, I always pon­der what makes good peo­ple do bad things?
    Could it be the herd men­tal­ity?
    The firm belief that you are actu­ally keep­ing the coun­try together?
    That you are the “good guys” in the story?

    This type of ques­tions are a part of the story which the author tack­les. Ms. De Rober­tis tell her tale focus­ing on the long term affects of the war blend­ing his­tory, fic­tion, shame, honor and magic in an engrossing yarn. The author offers just enough con­text within the story to appre­ci­ate the his­tory which the story revolves around, while cer­tainly not a defin­i­tive his­tor­i­cal book, it is not meant to be as such, but sim­ply wets the apatite to read some more.

    Perla is an ele­gant, poetic and decep­tively sim­ple book which tells of a young woman com­ing to grip with her own his­tory at the time Argentina comes to grip with its own past.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    I enjoyed this book very much! While coming home from a pleasur

    I enjoyed this book very much! While coming home from a pleasurable trip to Buenos Aires I read a review of Perla In "Oprah" Magazine while on the plane. I was intrigued because I had just heard about the horrible events that took place in the '70's and had visited some of the sites that are living memorials to all the people who disappeared during that terrible era. The author kept me intrigued throughout the book, and also a bit apprehensive, knowing that this is based on real events. I enjoyed the author's mixture of realism with some possible fantasy and the ending was extremely rewarding. Whether you've visited this city or not the story is of the resilient people of Argentina is worth knowing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Don't Miss This One

    This book is amazing! I loved Carolina de Robertis' first book, Invisible Mountain, so I was already a fan. But Perla is so beautiful, disturbing and thought provoking all at the same time. I love her style of writing, very lyrical with a touch of magical realism. I had never read about 'the disappeared' of Argentina, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but Carolina has brought it to life in a strong, poingnant way. This book is not for the faint of heart, but so worth it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2013

    Perla revolves around the Argentina's Dirty War, during which th

    Perla revolves around the Argentina's Dirty War, during which the government sponsored the taking of of over 30,000 people, the "los desaparecidos" (The Disappeared), in the guise of purging political subversives.  Now the war is over and the dictator has been toppled.  Perla doesn't completely understand her history, but she has always known that she is different because her father is a Navy officer.  She goes through life hiding the identity of her family for fear of recrimination.  Perla is the listener because being anyone else might inadvertently give someone a glimpse into her life.  But when forced to think of the past, her life shifts and she no longer knows who she is anymore.

    I absolutely loved this book but have no idea how to describe why (I hate when that happens!!!).  Perla's story is unfolded in snapshots of time through different perspectives.  I loved that I felt like I was experiencing Perla's anguish, confusion, and coming-of-age with her rather than observing it from a far.  This story is lyrical and dramatic with much heartbreak.  At times the graphic scenes were like a slap in the face, but they were like snapshots so they quickly passed.  The writing made me feel emotionally connected to the story, though I didn't find myself connected to Perla.  

    Though not a light-hearted read, I flew through the pages reveling in each disclosure that allowed me to put pieces of the puzzle together.  I feel like this is a story that I will never forget and would recommend it to those who find themselves in the mood for a meaningful emotional read with complex characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2012

    Loved this story!

    I liked this story, somewhat historical fiction, some mystical elements. I am on an international- historic-fiction kick this year that features strong female characters. I like a book that grabs me emotionally without being sappy. This book is not getting the recognition it deserves! I would also reccomend the Dovekeepers and Virgins of Paradise, both satisfying reads from this genre I am in love with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I was a freshmen in college during this time in history and I was not focusing on world events then. I was so moved that it lead me to do some research on the time.I loved the story and at times I felt like I was reading poetry.I also liked how the arthur did not choose to be too abstract for the ending because it made it a softer peacefull ending.

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  • Posted May 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    Carolina De Robertis has created a fantastic drama of finding oneself, and life during a terrible time. I chose to review this book because of Perla's father.....he was a Navy man, and so was my father, so I love reading books that involve the Navy, for it brings me back to my childhood. Born in 1981, two years before the "Dirty War" ended, I never really knew of or heard about the Dirty War before now. But, that did not stop me from falling in love with this story. Perla's father was a Navy Officer, one she is learning was involved in the "disappearance" of many people. A man that was responsible for killing so many civilians and ruining families. When this book started out, I was honestly not sure what to expect, for Perla has found a man in her living room and he's dripping wet, as if he just came out of the water. He's not just any many though. He's a ghost and one that will change her life forever. When this man appears, Perla begins digging deeper into the events of the Dirty War and the disappearances. What she finds is not at all what she was expecting. What she finds is something more life changing than anything could ever be. I definitely recommend this book with the highest of 5 Books. It's worthy of so much more, but that's the highest I can rate it. I fell in love with the entirety of this story, from Perla to her Naval Officer father (yes, though he was involved with murder, he was a big defining aspect of the story.....). This story gripped me so thoroughly, and held me til the last page, that by the end, I was heartbroken. I didn't want to let Perla go, and I wanted to hang on to the author's writing for just a little bit longer. A perfect combination of truth, suspense, forgiveness and finding oneself, this book is absolutely mind-blowing! I can tell you that this a book that will be forever on my bookshelf to turn to again and again. Well done, Ms. De Robertis, and I can't wait for another fantastically written novel from you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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