Perla

Perla

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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A coming-of-age story, based on a recent shocking chapter of Argentine history, about a young woman who makes a devastating discovery about her origins with the help of an enigmatic houseguest.
 
Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires, with a cold, polished 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. Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, but her love for her papá is unconditional. But when Perla is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has suppressed all her life, and to make a wrenching decision about who she is, and who she will become.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307599599
Branch Call Number: FIC DeRo
Characteristics: 235 p

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brangwinn
Feb 29, 2016

The first time I read this book, the importance of the story didn’t sink in. It took a trip to Argentina to understand the violent military regime that tortured and killed so many. Perla is the college-aged daughter of an important Navy officer. She lives the good life. When a ghost of a man who magically appears and continually seeps water all over the Persian rug, she begins to see all that has happened. Her parents haven’t been truthful about the past and as she researches and talks to this unknown man, she realizes that she is the daughter of one of the “disappeared”, citizens who are mysteriously taken from homes and never seen again. It is her father who was dumped in the ocean from a plane along with many others who has visited her. The gradual unfolding of the Perla’s real identity and her subsequent reunion with her real grandparents is a very touching story about a very black period of Argentinian history.

Cdnbookworm Feb 11, 2013

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.

h
hankbinnema
Oct 12, 2012

Amazing! Intense! Very poetic and the characters come alive. We get inside the characters who lived this shameful chapter of Argentine's history.

rosiebear2 Jul 17, 2012

Carolina De Robertis is one of the best writers I've read in recent years. Her writing is lyrical, moving, and important. She describes the occasional and the ubiquitous with such imagination that I was constantly amazed.

carol3275 Jun 21, 2012

This book is amazing! It makes you think about issues you didn't know existed. I think we are pretty sheltered in the U.S.

j
jadavies
May 18, 2012

This is a wow. What an amazing story.

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