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Swedish Tango: A Novel
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Swedish Tango: A Novel

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  485 ratings  ·  63 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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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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
Ann 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
Jeanette Cortez
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.
Andrea Bolton
This book was exquisitely written. The kind of book that stays with you. Wonderful characters and just the ending I wanted. So good!!
Marjorie Geiser
Unlike "The Lost Wife," this one left a lot left unanswered. I really liked the other one. This was was a disappointment.
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
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
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
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
Leggere A Colori
Il romanzo è comunque prezioso, perché ha il merito di far riflettere su un tema fondamentale e purtroppo sempre attuale, quello dell’instaurarsi di una dittatura e delle sue terribili conseguenze. Questo libro potrebbe essere la base perfetta per una sceneggiatura di un film.

Continua a leggere su
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
Just finished my second book by this author. I love her historical fiction. The books are at times tough to read, but they are so good. If you haven't read one of her books, pick one up. I can't wait to read more.
Beautifully written and as always, Richman's books reach deep chords of emotion within her readers. I loved "The Lost Wife" and this one is just as good.
Loved The Lost Wife, everything else has been predictable and boring. Sorry.
Emily Boyer
I have actually read this before and forgot.
This story did not even seem like a fiction but more like a memoir of several different very good people who poured out their souls and emotions on the pages of the book. They were all affected by the horros of military dictatorships, either WWII or Pinochet's regime in Chile, one way or the other. However, in spite of their misfortunes, they all rebuilt their lives in a foreign country never loosing their inner beauty in the process.
I really enjoy reading books by this author and look forward t
Apr 29, 2015 Marisa marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The author has a strong ability to verbally describe subtleties and depict a realistic scene. Unfortunately it's also her downfall. She turns the narrative into an overgrown rose garden and loses some truth in her unpruned verbosity. There was an element of historical interest popping up here and there in the tangoesque (sic) writing, but that was drawn out to its thinnest veneer. The book started out with promise but by the end, turned into a silly Harlequin novel. Disappointing.
Mary J
If anything, it taught me that communication in a relationship can save so much hurt.
Jennifer Pesina
It was beautifully written. It wrapped itself around me and I couldn't put it down.
Very interesting read
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 21, 2015 02:58PM  
  • A Dangerous Liaison
  • El espíritu de mis padres sigue subiendo en la lluvia
  • On a Day Like This
  • A Song at Twilight
  • Whisper to Me of Love
  • The Homecoming Party
  • French Lessons: A Memoir
  • Unstoppable Octobia May
  • The Storm Whale
  • Strangers at Dawn
  • When Dreams Come True
  • The Secret Life of Lady Julia
  • Storm
  • Love on the Range
  • Zarafa: A Giraffe's True Story, from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris
  • Wings of a Dove
  • The Last Knight
  • A Man in Uniform: A Novel
Alyson Richman is the author of "The Mask Carver's Son," "The Rhythm of Memory (formerly published as Swedish Tango)," The Last Van Gogh," and the national bestseller, "The Lost Wife." Her books have been published in over fifteen languages. She loves to travel, cook, ride her yellow bicycle, and do ballet. She currently lives in New York with her husband and two children. Her novel, "The Garden o ...more
More about Alyson Richman...
The Lost Wife The Garden of Letters The Last Van Gogh The Mask Carver's Son A Splendid Gift

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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.” 0 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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