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Carolina De Robertis Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Invisible Mountain (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Perla (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gods of Tango (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cantoras (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Radical Hope (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Carolina De Robertis
Carolina De Robertis is a Uruguayan-American author of historical fiction, literature, and fiction books and an award-winning author of three novels and a non-fiction, Radical Hope. She is a lecturer at San Francisco State University where she teaches creative writing. She was born in England, moved to Switzerland and finally settled in Los Angeles, California. Carolina attended University of California in Los Angeles and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature. She also received an MFA degree in creative writing from Mills College.

De Robertis debut novel, The Invisible Mountain was published in 2009. The book became an international bestseller and has been translated into over 17 languages, including Spanish, Italian, Dutch, German, Hebrew, and Chinese. The novel also won best book for Booklist, The Oprah Magazine, and San Francisco Chronicle and was finalist for California Book Award. Carolina lives in Oakland, California where she works as a fulltime writer.

The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain is a fascinating debut novel by Carolina De Robertis. The story is narrated in poetic oral history and tells of the tale of three generations of young women in a working-class family in Uruguay. It’s the story of the rise to glory and fall from glory of the three women hand in hand with the rise and fall of Uruguay.

The novel is divided into three sections, all of which are named after each of the women, Eva, Pajarita, and Salome. The book captures the voices of each of the women, and each section has a unique feel. Each section illustrates the women’s trajectories right from girlhood to young womanhood and their motherhood and tells how the women come to terms with the realities of their lives compared to their youthful dreams. Uruguayan history and the women’s dreams and hopes for their country are beautifully blended into their personal histories.

The story kicks off with Salome writing letter to the unknown child and immediately shifts into a magical Isabel Allende style story set in a small town in the turn of the century Uruguay. The main character in this section is Pajarita, who starts life as a nameless baby who vanishes, then suddenly reappears months later perched in branches of a tree. Pajarita spends her childhood in a ranch and never leaves her small village until a traveling circus arrives in town. She marries one of the Italian immigrants, Ignazio Firielli, and relocates to Montevideo. Pajarita’s section continues until Eva.

The second section in the book focuses on Eva, Pajarita’s daughter. It kicks off when Eva is five years old. She is educated, unlike her mom, but her fortune takes a turn when she is dropped out of school to work. This part of the book is beautiful poetry vividly capturing Eva’s hopes, romanticism, and her dreams to Carlos Gardel’s tangos. The reader can taste all the flavors of Uruguay and the feel of aspirations, lushness, romance, and sensuality of 1930s to 1950’s Buenos Aires and Montevideo. We even meet Ernesto “Che” Guevarra and Eva Peron. At the same time, this second section vividly captures the darkness surrounding that period of optimism and romance, in a male-dominated society where a woman’s virtue is of supreme importance, and a man’s power is complete.
The third section in Carolina De Robertis’s book The Invisible Mountain is about Eva’s daughter, Salome. She is an idealist, a Tupamara rebel who’s forced to face the harsh realities of the authoritarianism Uruguay. This section is narrated in poetic prose, but it’s less poetic compared to Eva, and also less magic compared to Pajarita. There is no Carlos Gardel, no Tango, no famous poets, no glamorous café, and no larger than life revolutionaries. This is a true reflection of the different environments in which Salome comes of age. Pajarita’s youth can be termed as a period of national enthusiasm that reflects the excitement of a fast-growing Montevideo in the early part of the century. Eva’s youth can be considered as a period of transition, a time when girls still may need to work but one characterized by pesos and tango and strong beliefs in greatness. Salome’s period is one of disillusionment with the state, with hostility and a desire for transformation and hope for a better tomorrow that is eventually crushed by the harsh realities of the cold war.

In most instances throughout the novel, Carolina De Robertis begins her chapters with the words Monte vide EU, which translates to “I see a mountain.” The name Montevideo is derived from the Portuguese phrase Monte vide EU, which is ironic because there are no mountains in Montevideo, just a hill. However, investigating deeply, you’ll figure out that this phrase is more symbolic because of the many things in the novel. It symbolizes the romanticization of Batlle in the early of the century and the belief of the strength of the Uruguayan democracy. However it turned out that the thought that Uruguay, unlike Latin America, was safe from dictatorship was wrong. Batllismo and Uruguayan democracy were seen as this enormous fixture in the background of national development, this big mountain, but the reality was that it was a tiny blip, a hill disguised as a mountain. In the same way, the character’s dreams were as same as fabled mountain- Monte Vide Eu- their future seemed promising, but the reality was more disappointing.

The Invisible Mountain is a multilayered novel, one to enjoy to the fullest and reflect upon. The author covers different topics from torture to tape, but her story doesn’t disturbingly linger on this darkness. She tells the reader to know what happened but doesn’t describe the darkness in horrifying details that would otherwise scare off some readers. Carolina De Robertis is a gifted author; she capturers are characters and makes each so real and likable. In addition, she does a fantastic job of capturing the rhythm of the 20th Latin America in a story that’s phenomenal. This novel is historical, inspirational, powerful and passionate that will have you deeply invested in it from the first page to the last.

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