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Swedish Tango

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  682 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
In this sweeping epic, true love transcends the brutality of war.

Octavio Ribeiro loves truth, beauty, literature, and above all else, his wife Salomé. As a student in Chile, he courted her with the words of great poets, and she fell in love with his fierce intelligence and uncompromising passion. Then a sudden coup brings a brutal military dictatorship into power, and put
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 13th 2004)
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Beth Yes, it is. This book was previously published with the title, Swedish Tango.
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Community Reviews

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Jul 22, 2011 Chrissie rated it really liked it
BEFORE READING: I am drawn to read this because the characters come from different cultures: Chilean, French and Finnish . They live in Sweden as foreign exiles, so Swedish customs will also be part of the picture. The status of foreign exiles in Sweden is sure to be an interesting subject. Furthermore it concerns the overthrow of Allende in Chile, and Pinochet's subsequent rule. Finally, I simply very much liked that style of writing found in the sample.


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Dec 31, 2013 Ilaria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La musica segreta dei ricordi è un romanzo che narra una storia molto intensa ed emozionante, in cui le storie dei vari personaggi si intersecano nel corso degli anni, creando un romanzo che potrebbe quasi definirsi corale, in cui ognuno di loro ha una parte importante...
Octavio e Salomè vivono in Cile insieme ai tre figli nella bellissima Casa Rosa, ai tempi del governo di Salvador Allende, in quegli anni in cui la situazione politica in Cile si faceva sempre più difficile, tanto che alla fine
Jun 07, 2007 Glenn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
In “Swedish Tango,” Alyson Richman covers, through tales of personal devastation and resurrection, the tragic political upheaval of Allende’s Chile, the sad, and to most of us I’m sure sadly obscure story of Finnish War children, and the complexities of survivor’s guilt through the eyes and heart of a man only part of whose family escaped prewar France. With these enormous events as backdrop, she manages to at the same time delicately navigate two larger-than-life relationships; relationships wh ...more
Jan 22, 2013 Wanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two individual stories are interwoven and it all comes together beautifully throughout this deeply touching book. The intriguing characters are well developed with a lot of historical background which gives a good understanding of the life and politics in Chili in the 1960's - 1970's. The book comes to life with the beautiful descriptive writing of the landscapes and countrysides.

Octavio and Salome Ribeiro are a couple living in Chili. Salome is abducted and wrongly imprisoned by Pinochet's reg
Mar 21, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
What a story. It is the story of Octavio Ribeiro and his wife,Salome, taking place in Chile and Sweden in 1974 and ending in 1998. It quickly follows their courtship and marriage which is followed by a brutal military dictatorship in 1984 . The brutality of war with Salome paying the price when Octavio refuses to put his family's safety first was so overwhelming at times, I had to put the book down. There were other times when I had to simply close it and hold it close because it touched me in s ...more
At first I kept going back to keep track of the dates (years) because I thought it might be like Time traveller's wife but anyway, I got through it easily. Also, I was puzzled as how three stories connect with one another eventually it did but I found myself slightly dissatisfied. I don't get how significant their connection was, to be honest.
It was nice read all in all. Just not the way I wouldn have hoped.
Jill Bautista
I wanted to like this book, but I felt bored reading it, and also the jumps in time confused me.
Marjorie Geiser
Nov 21, 2014 Marjorie Geiser rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unlike "The Lost Wife," this one left a lot left unanswered. I really liked the other one. This was was a disappointment.
Andrea Bolton
Sep 20, 2014 Andrea Bolton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was exquisitely written. The kind of book that stays with you. Wonderful characters and just the ending I wanted. So good!!
Jeanette Cortez
Sep 27, 2012 Jeanette Cortez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing, This book is a page turner. The book was very vivid and may be a bit graphic sometimes but it is a well written book.
May 05, 2017 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had just travelled to Chile in February and visited the human rights museum in Santiago, so was interested that the book covered the period of time during Pinochet's dictatorship. Not particularly insightful about historical happenings, but certainly an account that would be reflective of some of the terrible experiences of people who were tortured and how it affected their lives. The author kept using unnecessary extra adjectives which put me off a bit.
May 12, 2017 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story and beautifully written.
Romancing the Book
Reviewed by Robin
Book provided by the publisher for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Ms. Richman once again has her characters tugging at my heartstrings. Originally written under the name of Swedish Tango we find ourselves involved in the lives of four people. Separate yet connected by the brutal acts that war can bring into the lives of those that are affected by it in a close and personal way.

This story made me sit up and think about the dynamics of a family ravished by the
Barbara Nutting
Mar 14, 2017 Barbara Nutting rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very poignant love story set against the backdrop of Pinochet's murderous regime in Chile. As I researched this period in history I was amazed to learn that the US and Nixon supported this monster both in principle and financially! They both were crooks! It is well written and I liked all the characters.
May 19, 2014 Irein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Алисън Ричман-"Изгубената съпруга" беше едно страхотно откритие,което ме остави емоционално разтърсена и затова нямаше как да подмина новият й роман "Ритъмът на спомените".
Това е още една силна история за начините,по които хората се възстановят дори и от най-мрачните преживявания. Прекрасна книга за емоционалното опустошение и възкръсването от силната болка,за взаимоотношенията между хората,за вината и прошката и за силата на чувствата.Харесвам начина по к
May 03, 2014 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How do we make peace with the memories we carry? In "The Rhythm of Memory" author Alyson Richman provides a multi-narrative story that takes readers from revolutionary Chile to snow covered Sweden, to Nazi-occupied France to Peru and finally to the forests of Finland. If this sounds like a lot of ground for an author to cover, be assured, our story really centers on two couples.

The bulk of the story centers on Octavio and Salome. My goodness I loved their story and was swept along with the pas
Feb 22, 2017 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book & recommend it!
Kelly Massry
I came across this book unexpectedly on a recent trip to Barnes and Noble. I’d loved The Lost Wife and wasn’t aware that Alyson Richman had another novel out. (I think, actually, that it’s a re-publication of a previous book of hers written in 2004.) I admit this was a case of judging a book by its cover – it looked so Victorian and romantic to me. Also, though, I trusted Richman because of the poignant success of The Lost Wife. So much so that I bought the book blindly, without even reading an ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Octavio is a young and ambitious student who loves Literature. Growing up in a lower class family, he is considered penniless by most families but he is passionate about Literature. One day he comes across a beautiful woman, Salome who takes his breath away. Captivated by her gorgeous looks, he is devoted to spending every moment with her without the presence of her relatives. Often they secretly meet up to give in to the bitter temptation that they are faced against. Unlike Octavio, Salome is f ...more
Feb 12, 2015 Marlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second of Alyson Richman's books that I have read and I think she is a terrific writer. It is hard to say what this book is about. Love? War? Tragedies? All of that. For me it was about how people handle tragedies and what happens when they chose to keep it all inside. The main characters are Octavio and Solome who live in Chile. Octavio was a backer of Allende and, when Allende was killed and Pinochet came to power, he made no secret of his feelings. Because of that, his wife was ki ...more
Feb 20, 2017 Becky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not a fan of the over description of physical abuse. You need a strong stomach. And even when I skipped those parts the rest of the book was ho-hum boring.
Dec 04, 2015 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Alyson Richman weaves a tale of four intertwined characters. There is Octavio, handsome Chilean movie star who supports the ousted Socialist President Allende even after the President is killed to make way for the military General Pinochet. There is Salome, Octavio's wife who is kidnapped and brutalized by the Pinochet regime because of her husband's political beliefs. There is Samuel, who escaped to Sweden after fleeing Vichy France during WWII. And there is Kaija, a war refugee herself forced ...more
Judith Spencer
Jan 07, 2014 Judith Spencer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could have given this book 11/10 I would have done so.
The Rhythm of Memory combines the gripping storytelling with the evocative settings of Chile and Sweden to tell this sumptuous,beautiful story.
It is a novel woven around 2 haunting love stories, I loved all the characters, and felt their pain. It had me in floods of tears, and had to keep stopping as it was so heart wrenching. It was truly a fascinating story, it was just beautiful! I can't praise Alyson enough for her outstanding way wi
Susan Kaufman Gorban
very moving story of love and what we hold in. the story will stay with me for a long time. beautiful writing
Ann Koster Schaffer
A Chilean young mother is abducted and tortured for her husband's political opinions in 1974. An impoverished 2-year-old Finnish girl is sent to Sweden to survive WWII. A young Jewish boy fleas Paris with his family to find safety in Peru. These stories are brilliantly intertwined in one complex novel. The political injustices are abominable, but the real tragedies are the broken relationships resulting from the inability of the characters to properly communicate. Ironically, several characters ...more
Jan 07, 2014 Toby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alyson Richman offers another rich story about the ways in which human beings recover, even from the darkest experiences. This is a compelling read, though not for the fainthearted. There are disturbing passages detailing the torture inflicted under the Pinochet regime in Chile. But the real story is about deep love, between man and woman, parent and child. Through a collection of Richman's fully drawn, complex, and believable characters, we see how people who are profoundly challenged by the ci ...more
Jul 21, 2016 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So my last book was a slog, this one was definitely a STORY (which I really wanted/needed). A bit on the dark side... from kidnapping, torture (does it get any darker than that), infidelity angles. I won't say it wasn't predictable in parts. I won't say that sections of it had a romance novel twist. But I did like the historical threads to Pinochet, the cultural aspects that span continents (characters from Sweden, Finland, Chile, France), the perspectives of hardship in those cultures and over ...more
Jeanne Halloran
Nov 04, 2013 Jeanne Halloran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved everything I have read by Alyson Richman, but "The Rhythm of Memory" surpasses all of her wonderful novels in depth of character and psychological motivation. While covering a troubled time in the history of Chilean Politics, it goes beyond a mere recount of historical events and delves into the fears that haunt ordinary people who live in extraordinary times. Her characters are motivated by internal demons, and while their intentions are pure, they complicate their realities with s ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 02:58PM  
  • El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia
  • Blue Moon
  • Wings of a Dove
  • Moonlight Rebel (Moonlight, #1)
  • Blue Boy
  • Escape Not My Love
  • Strangers at Dawn
  • Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion
  • One Sinful Night
  • I Explain a Few Things: Selected Poems
  • Maverick Heart
  • Legend
  • Lady Miracle (Faulkener Family, #2)
  • Brazen (Regency Flings, #5)
  • My Gallant Enemy
  • Rosewood
  • The Perfect Mistress (Mistress, #2)
  • A Knight's Vow
Alyson Richman is the author of six historical novels including "The Mask Carver's Son," "The Rhythm of Memory (formerly published as Swedish Tango)," The Last Van Gogh," and three international bestsellers: "The Lost Wife.," "The Garden of Letters" and "The Velvet Hours." Her books have been translated into 20 languages. She loves to travel, cook, ride her yellow bicycle, and do ballet. She curre ...more
More about Alyson Richman...

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“There are some things that a woman knows that she cannot tell even her family. It is part intuition and part self-preservation.” 4 likes
“Si svegliò al canto degli uccelli, con la bruma del primo mattino che saliva oltre l’erba alta dov’era sdraiata. Sul volto erano impressi i segni delle margherite schiacciate, i fiorellini richiusi sotto il viso fragile.” 0 likes
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