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The Invisible Mountain

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,182 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
On the first day of the year 1900, a small town deep in the Uruguayan countryside gathers to witness a miracle—the mysterious reappearance Pajarita, a lost infant who will grow up to begin a lineage of fiercely independent women. Her daughter, Eva, a stubborn beauty intent on becoming a poet, overcomes a shattering betrayal to embark on a most unconventional path. And Eva' ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published August 10th 2010 by Vintage (first published 2009)
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Tea Jovanović
Wonderful book, very lovely author that I've met in Turin few years ago... For all those that like to read Isabel Allende... I'm not loosing hope that I'll find her publisher in Serbia (I did once but he changed his mind and canceled the contract)...
Melissa Crytzer Fry
This book was delectable – delicious words spilling from a poet’s pen. While The Invisible Mountain is worth the read for the sheer beauty of the language alone, it’s also an epic multigenerational story of three incredibly strong women, a story of revolution, political upheaval, love of country, mother-daughter love, love of language and words, survival, hope, a story about the power of story itself (and the power of story to transport and heal).

I confess that I don’t read much historical ficti
...more
Jessica McCann
This novel completely swept me away. The Invisible Mountain is really like three novels in one. It's an expansive story of three strong women, told in three parts, yet woven together. Set mostly in Uruguay, and spanning most of the 20th century, it begins with the story of Pajarita, a lost infant who mysteriously re-appears in the countryside, high in a tree, New Year’s day 1900. The small town of Tucuarembo had been known for starting centuries with some sort of miracle, no matter how peculiar. ...more
Kara
Apr 15, 2014 Kara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me as a Christmas gift from a book club friend. I didn't start it for a while. Some of the reviews here scared me off, and I really didn't like the cover. I figured I had to read it for our next book club meeting (she asked about it in our last), so I kind of begrudgingly picked it up.

I was being ridiculous. This book is beautiful. It follows three generations of a family, mostly through its women, navigate Uruguay's tumultuous 20th century. It's a little historical, it's
...more
Laura
Jan 20, 2010 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Tara
This is saga of the Firielli’s family as told by the grandmother Pajarita, her daughter Eva and her granddaughter Salome.

During Pjarita life and her marriage with Ignazio, the author introduces the glamorous city of Montevideo before Word War I.

Page 27: Monte. Vide. Eu. I see a mountain, said the first Portuguese man to sight this terrain from sea.

Just for clarification, Montevideo has only a low hill.

However after the Great War, the Uruguay's economical breakdown just begin.

Her daughter Eva has
...more
Tara Chevrestt
Aug 12, 2009 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent debut novel. It addresses so many different family issues in each generation. Namely three generations spanning 90 years. The book is in three parts. Part one is Pajarita, part two is her daughter Eva, and part three is Salome, Pajarita's granddaughter.

Pajarita's tale takes place in Uruguay in the early 1900s. She is a "miracle child" that disappears as a baby and suddenly reappears in a tree much later. When she becomes a young woman, she marries Ignazio, who is a gondola
...more
Chrissie
Sep 02, 2009 Chrissie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lauren Teitelbaum
Yes, I really, really liked it! I just finished. The metaphors are wonderful; they tie all the strands together. That home to this family was Montevideo, that the story took place here, was just perfect. Montevideo means - I see a mountain. But there is no mountain! Only by reading the novel will you understand. What else should I say? This book is about families and about secrets and how secrets eventually can be erased in a family. It is about how within a family, although we have common trait ...more
Lilisa
Spanning three generations of women – Pajarita, Eva and Salome, this colorful and intriguing historical novel set in Uruguay with a short diversion into Argentina, gives us a surprisingly intense experience into life in early 20th century Uruguay. Amidst the tumultuous upheaval experienced by many South American countries during that time period, including the Peron years in Argentina and the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba, we witness history unfolding through the eyes of three strong and determin ...more
Christina
Jul 16, 2012 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-challenge
Last night, my husband returned home from a meeting to find me weeping tears of joy and sadness. I had just finished Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis, a historical fiction novel set in the South American country Uruguay and I was truly moved. The novel follows the lives of 3 women: a grandmother Pajarita, her daughter Eva, and her daughter Salome. The novel begins with Pajarita's childhood at the dawn of the 20th Century in her rural village and later moves to Montevideo where Pajarita ...more
Holly Weiss
Three generations of mothers and daughters, Pajarita, Eva and Salome, are inextricably tied by their fierce independence and their home, Montevideo. Montevideo hints of the book’s title, The Invisible Mountain. The metaphors hidden here are beautifully and tenderly wrought by the author. The women are interlocked with the hope of living fully. The reader won’t understand the title until the ending is reached and then you will want to reread for anything you’ve missed.

The writing is magical. Ms.
...more
Lauren
Jul 31, 2009 Lauren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Andrea
The Invisible Mountain is an impressive and ambitious debut novel. It tells the story - told in poetic oral history - of three generations of women in a working class family in Uruguay. It is the story of the rise and fall of the fortunes of the three women in conjunction with the rise and fall of Uruguay.

The novel is split into three sections, named after each of the women: Pajarita, Eva, and Salome. The novel captures the voices of each of the women and each section has a different "feel". Ea
...more
Jill
Sep 23, 2010 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Invisible Mountain is a gem of a novel, grounded in actual history, with a dollop of magical realism, a splash of Dickensian coincidence, with some forbidden romance and political intrigue added to the mix.

The novel opens at the turn of the 20th century in a remote Uruguayan village, when a baby is spirited away and then reappears, a year later, unharmed in the branches of a tree. The young one is named Pajarita – translated to little bird – and the narrative, divided into three sections, sequen
...more
Betty
The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis

Carolina de Robertis writes with a passion as deep and intense as the tango, the thread that holds so much of South America together. The Invisible Mountain is a lyrical narrative on the tides of life in Uruguay throughout the twentieth century. As symbolic as the traditional shared cup or gourd of mate, Ms. de Robertis has a unique talent that embraces everything within the lives of three generations of women and their families. She conveys imaginat
...more
Monica
May 31, 2014 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loooovee this book more than I thought I would. I bought it off a withdrawn library books cart for super cheap so I didn't really have high expectations for it. I started reading it in May and put it down a few pages in because I wasn't so captivated by the story at first. I picked it up again around the beginning of October and thought that I should just suck it up and force my way through it, because I don't like having unfinished books on my bookshelf. Didn't have to force myself because Th ...more
Paolo Gianoglio
Jan 12, 2013 Paolo Gianoglio rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mi piacerebbe aver il coraggio e la sintesi utilizzate da Fantozzi per recensire il film sulla famosa corazzata russa (questo film è una c.. pazzesca!). Mi limiterò a osservare che da tempo non leggevo un libro così inutile, mal strutturato e mal scritto. Non è sufficiente dichiarare di voler raccontare una storia familiare e di un Paese sposando il punto di vista delle donne, occorre saperlo fare, occorre dare spessore alle storie, occorre dare misura agli sviluppi, agli eventi, ai personaggi. ...more
Kerry Hennigan
The Invisible Mountain is a sweeping saga of the women of one family and the struggle for freedom from repressive government regimes in various South American countries.

Set primarily in Uruguay, it follows the fortunes of Pajarita, her daughter Eva and finally Salome. Through their experiences, and those of their husbands and brothers and fellow revolutionaries, we travel the tide of history from 1900 through to the last decades of the twentieth century.

But it is Salome’s story that is most comp
...more
Janelle
Jan 15, 2016 Janelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
I was expecting a book that was hard to get into, based on some feedback from a few readers, but instead I got a book that was hard to put down. This is the story of three women in a family in Uruguay. Pajarita is a baby of mystery who is found in a tree in her village. Her daughter Eva makes her own way after her early life being shaped by a horrible crime to become a published poet. Salome is Eva's daughter who endures a years-long ordeal after the decisions of her youth. The language was beau ...more
Cheryl A
Jul 25, 2012 Cheryl A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spanning the bulk of the 20th century, this debut novel tells the story of Pajarita, a miracle child of the turn of the century, her daughter Eva and Eva's daughter Salome. Weaving the history of Uruguay into the family history of these three women, we see the strength of these characters as they search for love, making sacrifices for the love of their family. Bleak and horrific events are told in such a lyrical voice that the reader often doesn't realize right away how ugly the events actually ...more
Doriana Bisegna
May 25, 2014 Doriana Bisegna rated it it was amazing
To discover a new author and then to be blown away by her debut novel is a major treat for a reader. Carolina De Robertis's writing is as wonderful as Marquez, Allende and Alvarez. This saga of a South American family spans three generations of women who are all diverse, strong, resilient and powerful in their own way. I love the way the author infused the novel with real history about Uruguay, Cuba and Argentina in the 20th century. This young author is a powerhouse with words and a brilliant s ...more
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕
Such a powerful book that I want to think about my review!

But...wow.

Edit: & I'm still thinking about this book, which grew more powerful with each chapter! The best work of fiction that I have read this year.

De Robertis has a beautiful, evocative style which reminds me (a lot!) of Isabel Allende.

My only minor nitpick is some of the dialogue can be banal & strays into the telling not showing territory. But I'm certainly going to forgive this in a first novel.

Actually, I have a second nitp
...more
Beth
Nov 20, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story follows a family through its women and their historical contex during 3 generations in Montevideo and Buenos Aires from a beginning miracle of Pajarita appearing in a tree to Eva who strive to be a poet instead of going to college as her parents wish and Salome who is attractedto dangerous political rebellion. Each woman pushes for her own choices of independence in life. Reading it, one can truly imagine living through each progressive segment of the 20th Century in South America.
Lynne
Mar 15, 2010 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time getting into this book, but ended up really liking it. It is a multi-generational saga and, inevitably, I like one section better than the rest. I found Salome's story fascinating and I learned quite a bit about Urugayuan history in the process. All the characters were multi-dimensional rather than mere caricatures of political and personal positions.
Vibor
Mar 07, 2014 Vibor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deep and eyeopening, one can really feel the Uruguayan/South American society of 20th century and the troubles the women there went through. Even though there is a feeling of marxism and misandry coming from the writer, for the passion and research put in, it deserves 5 stars.
Karen
The Invisible Mountain is a wonderful work of historical fiction set in Uruguay (with a brief foray into Argentina) from 1900 - 1990. Three generations of women are described with such beauty and clarity.
Marilyn
Dec 01, 2016 Marilyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got tired of the sadness of the story.
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
The Invisible Mountain is a family saga, following the lives of three generations of Uruguayan women--Pajarita, Eva, and Salomé--through most of the 20th century. It’s an enjoyable book; nevertheless, it’s quite derivative of Allende’s House of the Spirits (among others), and Allende’s work is the better book.

Some SPOILERS follow.

Like House of the Spirits, The Invisible Mountain features a matriarch with ties to mysticism and magical realism, who after a brief courtship enters a problematic marr
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
In this astonishing and assured debut novel about a lineage of Uruguayan women in Montevideo, covering much of the twentieth century, de Robertis immerses the reader in electrifying and luminous prose. My skin tingled and my eyes watered; the passages melted in my mouth and dissolved on my tongue, making me buoyant, almost weightless. Pardon my gushing, but this is the most lyrical, musky, magical prose I have ever encountered in a freshman novel, and it has easily become one of my desert island ...more
Marianne
Part of me really loved this book beyond the rating I gave it, but the issues I had with small parts of it just won't go away.

The story centres around three generations of women in the one family and we get their story one after the other. We start with Parajita, a miracle child who meets a young Venetian gondola maker when he comes to Uruguay and quickly marries him. The two are young and in love and for a while their lives are blissful until real life invades and the spectres from Ignazio's Ve
...more
Zoe Brooks
Jan 19, 2013 Zoe Brooks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic-realism
I was expecting to be disappointed by this book. With its similarities to Allende's House of Spirits (three generations of women living through times of oppression), I thought it would suffer in comparison, that it might be light South American magic realism. I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the book and found that it stood on its own as a piece of literature.

The magic realism in the book is more obvious at the beginning of the book with the miracle of Pajarita's survival and fades a
...more
Cam Mannino
Apr 15, 2013 Cam Mannino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para los lectores en Español, hay una versión en Español abajo.

I love the fact that South American authors love strong, complicated interesting women. And there are three generations of them in this novel: Pajarita, a miracle child from a small village who becomes a healer after marrying an Italian from a gondola-making family; Pajarita's daughter Eva, a poet sustained through a difficult life by the beauty of words and love of one very special person and Eva's daughter Salomé whose idealism and
...more
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Around the World ...: Discussion for The Invisible Mountain 8 40 May 19, 2012 07:49PM  
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Carolina De Robertis is the author of Perla and The Invisible Mountain, which was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, and BookList. She is the translator of Alejandro Zambra’s Bonsai, which was just made into a feature film, and Roberto A ...more
More about Carolina De Robertis...

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“She was awake, alive, full of ideas like branches in a greenhouse, growing thick and rife against the glass.” 11 likes
“He was like a bottle and music was the wine.... She liked to be near him when it poured.” 9 likes
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