The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain

Book - 2009
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A gripping and lyrical story--at once expansive and lush with detail--this debut novel is a deeply intimate exploration of the search for love and authenticity, power and redemption, in the lives of three women, and a penetrating portrait of a small, tenacious nation, Uruguay, shaken in the gales of the twentieth century.
On the first day of the millennium, a small town gathers to witness a miracle and unravel its portents for the century: the mysterious reappearance of a lost infant, Pajarita. Later, as a young woman in the capital city--Montevideo, brimming with growth and promise--Pajarita begins a lineage of fiercely independent women. Her daughter, Eva, survives a brutal childhood to pursue her dreams as a rebellious poet and along the hazardous precipices of erotic love. Eva's daughter, Salome, driven by an unrelenting idealism, commits clandestine acts that will end in tragedy as unrest sweeps Uruguay. But what saves them all is the fierce fortifying connection between mother and daughter that will bring them together to face the future.
From Peron's glittering Buenos Aires to the rustic hills of Rio de Janeiro, from the haven of a corner butchershop in Montevideo to U.S. embassy halls, the Firielli family traverses a changing South America and the uncharted terrain of their relationships with one another.
Published: 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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