Chrissie's Reviews > The Invisible Mountain

The Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis
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's review
Mar 15, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: hf, history, bio, kirkus, relationships, uruguay, magic
Recommended to Chrissie by: Lauren Teitelbaum
Read in December, 2009

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 traits, we all are born different anyhow. In a family differences are less important than they are in a friendship. Finally, the ending - well it just couldn't have been better. I don't read an entire book just for the ending, but when the ending is so well sculpted as it is in this novel, the whole book ends with a glorious dazzle. I had a hard time with the section on Salomé, as many other readers have noted, but stick it out, you will not be disappointed.

I am adding this - you DO learn about Uruguayan political history around the middle of the 1900s and a bit about Ché Guevara and Peron too.

Through page 408: I adore the metaphor of the haircut - snip, snip, snipping away of the old and damaged. As a new person, lightened of the burden of the past, is it possible to take a step into a new life?

hrough page 232: OK, when I make a mistake I will gladly admit it. First of all we are still getting more info about Peron, and this I like. Secondly, and more importantly, there is happiness in Eva's life. Maybe the author wanted the readers to go crazy needing some happiness first. Then you appreciate it. Here follows a quote: "Autumn approached, with its cool winds and early showers. The season seemed enchanted. Eva could walk down the street- one child hand in each of hers - and be struck by a fierce and sudden gale of happiness. It made her want to skip and run and kick up puddle water and pursue the sensuous crunch of brown leaves beneath her boot. So much opulent sensation on one sidewalk. 'Salomé, you get that one!' Small galoshes crushed a leaf, another, and two giggles(a three-year-old's, her mother's) mixed with the crackling sound. 'Roberto? How about you?' A head shook, a wool cap swung its pom pom, made by his abuelita. How did he get so very tall? and how so solemn? Many splashed puddles it took, to make him smile, but it was worth it for the dawn-break way it came." Roberto is Eva's son and and Salomé her daughter. I like that the author understands it doesn't have to be BIG, IMPORTANT things that make one happy! Books that have no happiness drive me crazy. I feel like telling the author and the characters - open your eyes for heavens sake!

Through page 216: I am disappointed at how little the history of Uruguay and Argentina is drawn into the novel. Yes, it is there, but not alot! Evita Peron appears, but you get very, very little. Too bad! The second part of the book is about Eva, Pajarita's daughter, and the third will be about Salomé, Eva's daughter. It seems to me that the author has chosen to depict lifestyles that get progressively worse. What, is there no happiness in Eva's life? Of course not, but the author has chosen to show very little. I do not like it when author's send out a clear message or moral statement. Hej leave it to us the readers to choose what we belive! I would prefer if some happiness were included b/c everybody has life with some happiness even if sometimes we have to really search for it. That is just my opinion of course.

Through page 128: The writing is beyond marvelous. Magical realism at its best. Pajarita's three young sons, Bruno, Marcus and Thomas are inseperable soccer players, so when their mom calls them it becomes simply brunomarcusthomas. They are brunomarcusthomas.... Maybe you have to read this to understand, but I love the idea of one word for the three. I had thought to quote some text but now what is so gripping is what is happening in the family. The story is about Pajarita's daughter, Eva. You will cry for Eva. Why? Read the book! Kids - what they blame themselves for! Enough to make me want to kick somebody!

Through chapter 1, page 47 only, and I love it! Why - because of the author's way of expressing herself! The style is clearly magical realism. Descriptions sparkle! The moon casts a light of spilled milk on the floor. How does it feel when you realize you are in love for the first time? Do you remember? "What a strange feeling: dizzy, thrilling - like those times when, as a child, she had spun and spun until she stopped and looked around at a world that whirled before her eyes. All things danced, nothing stayed still." And there is humor - at the village wedding of Ignazio and Pajarita: "An infant howled in satisfaction (she had made terrific toothmarks on a bible)." Lauren thank you! Tara, I do understand why you loved this.

Before opening the book: Oooops again - I do not know what I read last time but I definitely DO like what I test read of the book provided at B&N. Kirkus says the writing is dense and lush and if I quote them: "Miracles, poetry and guerilla fighters march through the 20th century in De Robertis' winning debut, a beautifully wrought novel of Uruguay." I liked the poetic text in the section concerning Eva. Now I have added this to a must list!

So forget the following incorrect sentence - ooops. I did NOT like the text when I checked it! OK, I made a mistake!
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Tara Chevrestt I really like this one!

Chrissie I hope I will too - I have only read a few pages.I am like a kid; I get so excited when I start a new book.

Tara Chevrestt That reminds me, I have been wanting to read a novel based on or about Eva Peron but never found one. If you hear or know of one, let me know, please.

message 4: by Chrissie (last edited Dec 15, 2009 03:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Chrissie Tara, in the group European Royalty I remember they read a book in there monthly reads under their "history" secion, ie not royalty. If I find the title I'll tell you. However it did not get that great reviews when I checked it at B&N 's review section for the book.....

Chrissie Tara, I found it - Evita The Real Life of Eva Peron. Since it didn't get good reviews I had never added it to my South America shelf! IF you find one that looks better, please let me know. OR if you read it and like it: please recommend it to me. Thanks!

Tara Chevrestt I hate biographies. The style bores me to tears and I found I never remember any of it later. I need that story format to keep me interested. Thanks tho. I sure hope someone writes a historical fiction about her sometime.

Chrissie Tara, some author's make biographies good - it all depends on the author! I recommended another book, historical fiction, which Jon told me about. I am just not sure if it concerns her after her death or is about her life! Maybe both?!

Lynne Oh, I just found this on the audiobook shelf at the library! I'll start it today.

Chrissie Have fun listening!

Lauren Glad you liked it! I think The Invisibale Mountain is one of the best books I have read. I noticed a lot of people had trouble with the Salome section. I didn't but then again, I couldn't imagine telling the story of Uruguay without including a similar section because the disappeared is such a huge part of modern Uruguayan history.

Chrissie Lauren, I am really glad you recommended it to me. I liked the entire book. I don't shy away for books that cover terrible events. What I do demand is that there is always something funny, humorous or bright too. Life is a mixture. Books that only reveal one side drive me crazy.

Please do recommend books to me!

Lauren I didn't mean my comment in a critical way. :) My comment was inteded to inspore discussion - I can definitely see your perspecitve. :) I agree that life is a mixture - I think within the project of showing the development of Uruguay through the perspective of 3 generations of women, the Salome section makes sense since it was such a dark period of history.

Chrissie Lauren, it never crossed my mind to take it in a critical way! I agree with you 100%. I also think the darkness of Salome's section was appropriate. A book as a whole, should not be dark, but sections can be!

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