The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain

Book - 2009
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The sweep of a century, the hand of history, three women whose lives will never be the same again.

As the twentieth century dawns, so begins one of the most dramatic periods in the history of South America. Women are emancipated, Che Guevara and Fidel Castro free Cuba, the Perons take power in Argentina, and three generations of Firielli women are to live, love, and fight for their independence and freedom.

Pajarita is the founder of the dynasty, born into a rural village and constantly chafing against its narrow confines. A love-match with a circus performer offers her escape, but she is trapped in a cage of another sort when her husband becomes a monster. Her spirited daughter, Eva, enters a world shaken by revolution. Fleeing childhood abuse, and alienated from her mother, she heads to Buenos Aires, but the glittering circles she moves in cannot erase the memories of her past. Her daughter, Salomé, driven by political passion becomes a guerrilla fighter, but her idealism turns to tragedy when she is captured, and brutalised.

From bohemian Buenos Aires to the hills of Rio de Janeiro; from tangos to demonstrations; from the broad sweep of history to the intimate lives of the Fierelli family, THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN traverses a changing South America, in which some things - love, family, hope - continue forever.

Publisher: London : HarperCollins, 2009.
ISBN: 9780007302819
Branch Call Number: FIC ROBE
Characteristics: 424 p. ; 24 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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