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Invisible Country

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  13 reviews
From the author of City of Silver, a beautifully rich and puzzling historical mystery set in Paraguay, 1868

A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died in the conflict and food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congreg
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Minotaur Books
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Diane S.
3.5 First book I have ever read set in Paraguay and I really enjoyed this novel. A first it was quite difficult to keep all the characters straight but as I read on it became easier. Between 1863 and 1870
Paraguay fought against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, Paraguay lost 90% of it's male population which is the beginning of this mystery, and the small town of Santa Caterina is starving for food. There is a murder of an important man, and the villagers themselves set out to find the killer so t
I could not finish this book because it is simplistic. The narrative voice is both uninteresting and undifferentiated because the style is plodding. There are three major reasons for this--most sentences do not exceed eleven words, the sentence structure is either SVObj or SLVPn or PAdj, with very little co-ordination or subordination, and the vocabulary is limited. The overall effect is to create not an evocative, nuanced narrative, but rather a text that appears to have been by and for a 7th g ...more
Leighton Gage
Annamaria Alfieri’s first novel, City of Silver, was set in seventeenth-century Potosi.
Now, in Invisible Country, she carries us two centuries forward, and a thousand kilometers away, to the little Paraguayan village of Santa Caterina.
As the book begins, the War of the Triple Alliance, the bloodiest clash in South American history is in its fourth year. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay continue to pursue their conflict of attrition against little Paraguay. Santa Caterina’s crops and livestock have
I will read ANYTHING about Paraguay's war against the triple alliance, so finding Alfieri's second book was catnip for me. Her first, City of SIlver, provided a fascinating glimpse into Spanish colonial power and intrigue in the city of Potosi, which is apparently the best-preserved baroque Spanish city in the world. I want to go! Invisible Country did not live up to Alfieri's first, but it rolled along easily enough to hold my interest. That war ended in 1866, and Paraguay is still recovering f ...more
Amusing, very human, and informative - but not much of a mystery. At any rate the mystery is not the most important part of the story here. What IS striking about the book is the story of something called the "Triple Alliance" and a war in the 19th century that practically decimated Paraguay, virtually a genocide by a dictator who ruled the country at the time and sent his people into an ill-advised war against Brazil. Heartbreaking, really, although told with humor and humanity.
Sep 03, 2012 Elli rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Elli by: Diane, Donna
One does not read that many books involving Paraguay. I found this interesting and a very good book! It's a fact that there was a triple alliance war wihich involved Brazil and Argentina going to war with small Paraguay, with no really good reason other than grandiose dreams of the dictator in question. But there comes a time no matter how scared and beaten you are, you have to just come forth and keep going, and that's what happened. A bit of justice in it's own way.
Jean Kelly
An interesting novel that centers around a murder but that focus is used to describe unforgettable characters in Paraguay in the time of a war that is tearing the country apart. The author sounds genuine no matter what the character she is describing - dictator type general, priest who urges people to forget the rules and get the women pregnant so the country doesn't die out, young girl who falls in love with one of the enemy.
One of the best of historical fiction, this is the second I've read by Annamaria Alfieri, and I loved them both. Set in colonial Central America, the descriptive passages and characterizations give a strong sense of the culture and time. And there's a mystery to boot!
I enjoyed this book. It was interesting, historical and difficult to read at times. I want to learn more about Paraguay. They seem to be a proud, strong people whose culture deserves studying. I want to read about today's Paraguay.
Miriam Holsinger
Took me a bit to get through the beginning - a bit depressing as it starts in a warn torn country where 90% of the men have been killed. But once I got past that I enjoyed the writing style and the array of characters.
Aug 17, 2012 Lisa added it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I thought I'd give this a try (new to me author), but I just couldn't really get into this book, so am quitting after one hundred+ pages.
Fun read. I give it 3.25. It's sort of a romantic comedy of errors history story.
Jan 02, 2013 Julieb added it
Just couldn't get into the story...
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Annamaria Alfieri is the pen name used by author Patricia King for her mystery novel City of Silver, set in 1650 in the wealthy Peruvian (now Bolivian) city of Potosi.
More about Annamaria Alfieri...
City of Silver: A Mystery Blood Tango Strange Gods: A Mystery

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