Brazil...Electric. Exciting. Hot. Brazil is famous for its world class beaches, beautiful women, Samba and soccer, but even its gently swaying palms and sultry nouveau beat can't cover up the sound of screaming.
Soon to be a major motion picture The Parrot's perch scores high marks as it weaves together a chilling tale based on actual events in a triple play of greed, deception and betrayal conjuring up images of unsurpassed beauty and unimaginable horror.
Bright iridescent feathers, resplendent tropical hues, fast cars and the ultra privileged life in the equestrian circuit are the lives of Catlin Lauria and her big brother Freddy. But evil has found them, and it won't back off until someone makes a final pay-off.
A sexy-successful-girl-next-door, and uber-cute-party-boy, drugs, Carnival, and the good life; dirty cops, corruption and torture, this story has it all, and you won't be able to put it down for a second wondering "can this world be real?" It is. Fasten your seat belts as you take this journey of revenge, retaliation and redemption; it's gonna change your life.
This is the hardest review I've had to write to date. This review is going to be a little different from my normal format and I will try to articulate my words as best I can. It's 1976 in Sao Paulo and Karen and Rick have just been married. They plan to live a long and happy life together filled with love. But when they are abducted from their bedroom early one morning in May and charged with a phony drug charge, they are plunged straight into hell. For 45 days they endured imprisonment along with starvation, torture and rape. When they are finally released from their wrongful imprisonment their lives are anything but happy. Everyone tells them that they must be silent about the traumatic events that happened and about being imprisoned as a whole. With no one to turn to and no comfort to be found, the happy couple now finds their marriage crumbling into pieces as they drift further and further apart from each other. Yet somehow Karen has managed to survive all of it and to tell us all her story in this volume. I personally find myself unable to find the proper words in the English language to express the gravity of this book to you all. This book did more than tear my heart out. To be quite honest with you all it gave me nightmares. It even made me physically ill at some parts. And yet it is a beautifully written and remarkable story. The fact that this was indeed a true story written by the woman who went through it all makes it even more brilliantly remarkable. I believe that this book and books like it stand as testament to the strength of the human soul and the perseverance that we can all achieve when put through the lowest circles of hell on Earth. This book will most definitely rock you to your core! It will make you question humanity in yourself and in others. Karen Keilt writes her story so vividly and paints the pictures so well that she puts you into her very own shoes. You are right there in the cell with her. Waiting for your next meal of sour rice and rotted meat. Counting the bugs crawling all over your skin. Sitting there waiting.... waiting for the monster to come again and take you. This is not a book that I would recommend to everyone. The simple fact is that there are people who are not able to stomach the subjects brought to light in this book. But for the ones who can read it, I commend you. This is not an easy read in any respect. It is however very educational.
A note to the author: Karen, I can barely express to you the deep felt sorrow and sympathy that I feel towards you. You are an amazingly strong person. Obviously stronger than you knew. Even reading your story I'm sure does not give it justice. But perhaps it brings you some closure. I hope that it does. People know your story now Karen. It's not a secret and you can talk about it. I hope this is a comfort to you. I wish I could give you a great big hug and tell you how strong you are that you made it through. Just know that your story will probably be with me for the rest of my life. I will never forget reading your book. You are an inspiration my dear. Please know that.
Yours truly, Tamara
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
📚 Hello Book Friends! OMG!! I was not sure what kind of book to expect when BOOKSPARKS selected me to review an audiobook copy of THE PARROT’S PERCH by Karen Keilt. This book is sooo good and troubling at the same time. Karen’s stories of torture, beatings, abandonment and life struggles were heart-breaking. Her courage, determination, and grace when facing adversity, is inspiring. This biography is a must-read. It educated me and challenged me in so many ways. Pick up a copy today.
As a former schoolmate of Karen’s and a classmate of her husband, Rick Sage, this story brings back many uncomfortable memories of growing up in Brazil during the 1964 Revolution. A period that saw an authoritarian military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from April 1, 1964 to March 15, 1985. The legacy of these corrupt generals, ineffective and corrupt justice system where bribery takes precedence over dignity and human rights, and dirty police who rape and torture with no oversight still persists today. Karen’s story is an intense yet even-handed story of living under a dictatorship.
Although the horrific rape and torture that she and her husband endured is heart wrenching, the real power in this narrative is how Karen has been able to rise up from this overwhelming event, like a phoenix from the ashes, and create a life for herself even when her family and closest friends abandoned her.
Karen finally told her story to the Brazilian National Truth Commission at the UN in the hopes that her story would lead to the arrest of those officials who participated in torture and “might help put an end to corruption.” I cannot imagine the trepidation, strength of character and inner fortitude that was required to revisit this.
Be prepared when you start reading this book as you won't be able to put it down for a second wondering "can this be real?" It was and is! Fasten your seat belts as you take this journey of revenge, retaliation and redemption; it's going to change your life.
A memoir that's almost too graphic and horrible to be believable. Keilt and her husband, an American, were held against their will, tortured, raped, physically and mentally abused for over a month by a sadistic and evil Brazilian government. Nearly left for dead they were finally allowed to leave after a large ransom was paid. Never fully understanding why they were abducted, Keilt is told not to ask questions, put it behind her and get on with her life.
So many secrets existed within Keilt's family and the government; secrets that she herself never learned the answers to. Was her father CIA? Was he involved in some way in her abduction? How did her brother play into it all? It must have been truly difficult not knowing who around her to trust. Keilt, thankfully, finds the strength to get on with her life, but her nightmares continued and her marriage suffered. She lived in constant fear and eventually moved to the U.S. with her son where she was able to live the life she always wanted.
Keilt's memoir begins with her relaying her story to an investigator who planned to use her accounts, and those of others who suffered under the Brazilian government, to bring those responsible to justice. Sadly, the government continues to be corrupt and to this day human rights abuses still take place.
Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this harrowing account of a true survivor.
This was by no means an easy read. Brutal in it's depictions at times, it stands to make me question the world itself and how when I was living in my protective little bubble as a child, when I thought there was no wrong in the world at all- this was indeed going on and worse. Why my parents chose to protect their children from those atrocities is understandable as any parent would but it seems not all thought the same? What gets me more is this kind of horror still takes place, and worse, around the world every single day. Why? Well written- although in my mind, the most compelling of the entire memoir is the fact the author has finally, in some semblance of normalcy, been able to come to terms with this trauma in her own mind and move forward with her life. My heart goes out to her. Worth the read, but not easy to take at times...
The Parrot's Perch by Karen Keilt is, without a single doubt, one of the most awesome, spectacular, love -inspired book that I have ever read! I can't even begin to fathom the courage and emotional determination of took for you, Karen Keilt to survive having written this book! I have been sick to my stomach for most of it, and grateful for the spectacular ending! This book will stay with me for a very long time, Karen, and I truly don't know how you survived this horrendous ordeal! Thanks so much for having the intestinal fortitude to share your lives with us. Your bravery and perseverance throughout the worst of times have given me a different perspective on terribly important aspects of life to be enjoyed each day, never realizing what the next day may bring to challenge each of us! I was so totally spellbound by your book, that my life, as crazy as it is could never compare to the bravery that was tested every day for 45 days. You have taught all of us that we can survive without a man, and have faith to take care our own! God bless you, Karen for thriving, interesting just surviving. You are my hero now and I wish you many more years of complete happiness! You deserve every second of it! You have proven to me that I,too, can face my worst memories and fears, in order to move forward and grab that brass ring! Incredibly written, and thank you for making me feel stronger!
Thrown in Brazilian jail for an unknown crime, Keilt and her husband endured forty-five days of torture, rape, and humiliation.
Even though this book was a page turner, there were many times I had to take a break from it because Keilt’s writing made it feel all too real.
This book is definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s an incredible insight into the corruption within the Brazilian law enforcement and an on-going investigation into the human rights violations the country apparently participates in quite regularly.
There is strength and resiliency within these pages, and ultimately, some hope along with tragedy. How something this absurd could happen is terrifying. I admire Keilt’s courage and perseverance.
Great book! I don’t typically gravitate to memoirs but received this one through #BookTrib and was so glad I did. Fascinating story that was well written.
Karen learns that all is not as glamorous as it seems when she enters adulthood. Having been raised in a wealthy and glamorous lifestyle she expected the future to hold nothing less spectacular. Enter the realities of politics and criminality that has been laying just under the surface the whole time. The book is a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit. Surviving horrific abuse was her first struggle and moving forward is the next.
Awhile ago Karen Keilt asked me if I would be interested in reading her book. I immediately said yes! I had been wanting to read it ever since joining Bookstagram, and I as so astounded that somehow she had found me and asked!
I was absolutely honoured to read this book, and to get a glimpse into Karen's story. I, like many others I'm sure, had no idea of the horror and terror that takes place inside Brazilian prison walls. I, naively, thought that Brazil was only what we see in magazines and on tv. I tried to imagine how I would feel if my country was this way. How would I feel knowing that Canada, my home and where my roots are, treated human beings so terribly? I cannot. I cannot imagine. I can only thank God that I live here.
Karen's writing was so transparent and beautiful. Her honesty, her intention and her message were so clear in these pages. This wasn't about her, despite the horrible things she endured, this was about her country and helping her countrymen. She uses her story as a vessel to help others, and that to me is such an act of bravery and poise. Karen Keilt is an extraordinary woman. I have learnt to be braver and to hold my head high, no matter what, from reading this book.
If you love memoirs please read this book. What is happening in Brazil is important and we should all be aware. Karen's strength and courage should also be shared, there is something we can all learn from her life and her journey.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart Karen for asking me to read your story! I am so honoured! It has already been passed to the first friend to share.
In her gut-wrenching memoir, The Parrot’s Perch, Karen Kielt recalls an extremely dark time in her life. Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Karen had a privileged life that resembled a fairy tale, at least outwardly. Living with Frederic Raborg, a cold, distant, abusive man was anything but a fairy tale. As a child, Karen longed for his approval. She was aware of his disgust and embarrassment whenever she failed. Ruling his family with an iron fist, Frederic Raborg was a master at running off boys who showed an interest in his daughter. That ended when Rick Sage succeeded in persuading Mr. Raborg to let him marry his daughter. The marital bliss between Rick and Karen was short-lived. Four months after their marriage, corrupt Brazilian officers arrested them for a crime they didn’t commit. While in prison, they were repeatedly raped, humiliated, and tortured mercilessly. After their release, Karen was urged to forget everything that happened to her during her forty-five days of imprisonment. Karen kept her secret for more than thirty years until she was asked to give a deposition at the Brazilian National Truth Commission. Karen’s story is told in flashbacks. Reading about her horrific experiences at the hands of corrupt abusers is difficult, but her resilience and determination to survive make The Parrot’s Perch a memorable memoir well-worth reading. #BookTrib I received a free copy of The Parrot’s Perch: A Memoir from BookTrib to write a review. All opinions expressed in this review are mine.
This book was sent to me via book trieb as a part of a book club I run. I chose to read this book myself and will definitely be sharing it with others in my group.
This book is about Karen and her husband Rick, being kidnapped and tortured in Brazil. Karen were young and newly married when they were ripped out of their beds in the middle of the night. They were treated horribly like they were nothing. Less than human beings. It was very hard reading through a lot of what she described.
I don't know how to explain the emotions I felt while reading this book. It was powerful and sad. Karen is an extremely strong and brave woman. Not only by surviving this ordeal, but by taking her life into her own hands and coming out on top. Also by speaking with the Brazilian National Truth Commission and testifying. I admire her
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Whoa. I went into this one fairly blind and what. a. story. This is one of the most raw and disturbing memoirs I've read. Keilt's story is almost unbelievable with the extreme scenes that seem like they could have only come from a movie but the honesty and gutting descriptions further prove the truth behind the author's words. This is not one for the faint of heart but it is an important book about corruption and events that are not discussed near enough. Highly recommend this in any form, but the audio was performed very well!
Thanks to BookSparks for the gifted audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
This is a gritty book of a young privileged just-married couple who in 1976 are forcibly taken by the Brazilian security service and repeatedly raped and tortured for over 7 weeks. The descriptions of that period are graphic. The reception they received on release was almost as brutal; especially by the author's father who was a King among bullies. The book is about trauma and having the strength to rebuild your life. It does not shy away from the difficulties; Rick the husband went one way and the author another. Karen Keilt is certainly one impressive person for what she has achieved.
I found this a difficult read because 1) it's a horrific and depressing tale of torture, rape and an abysmally corrupt government but 2) it is so poorly written that you find yourself distracted by the disjointed and repeated story lines. It's a horrific tale, that could have been better told if someone had helped her with the writing.
The Story: In 2013, sixty year-old Karen Keilt received an invitation from the Brazilian National Truth Commission to testify at UN in New York. And this is where she begins to share the horrific events of her youth which she has kept buried for thirty seven years.
My thoughts: Oh wow. Where do I even begin? This was one poignant memoir and the horrific events that happened to Karen was unbelievable. Karen is from an affluent family in Brazil and lived a wealthy lifestyle. She is a sheltered young woman even after she married Rick Sage. But things went horribly wrong when both she and Rick were forcibly taken by the Brazilian officers. The abuse and torture they endured during that time was hard to read. So yes, this book is not for the faint of heart.
The writing was really good and I flew through the audiobook in a couple of days. This book evoked so many emotions in me. My heart breaks for Karen. I really admired her strength and resilience in all this. Her agreement to testify in UN with the hopes to raise awareness about the ongoing human rights violations in Brazil and to end corruption in Brazil was a bold and admirable step.
In a nutshell, this was an eye-opening memoir about the corruption within Brazilian law enforcement and I highly recommend this book to everyone!
***Thank you Book Sparks, Orange Sky Audio and author Karen Keilt for this gifted listening copy and for having me on this Pop Up Book Tour. All opinions expressed are my own.***
How do you rate and review someones life-story? Someones torture story?
This non-fiction account of corruption, crime and human rights violations in Brazil is difficult to read about, but also shed some light on the - previously unknown to me - situation with these issues in Brazil. Coming from a very privileged background and belonging to the upper class, Karen Keilt does not seem like the person you would expect to be thrown into prison and treated very badly there. So that is the first shock, the second being the inhuman treatment of her and her husband there, and then comes the aftermath. I found that an interesting and just as important part of the story - the feelings of helplessness, fear and PTSD afterward, but also the fight for normality again, and the fight to change the system that enabled this. What I wished for was a bit more background information about the situation in Brazil at the time. Other than that, it is really difficult to say anything about this book - good or bad - because it would feel like rating Ms. Keilt's life. It is well-written and makes you feel things, that is for certain. And it is first powerful in its brutality and injustice, and then in its uplifting message of fighting back.
~ I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions expressed above are my own.
I flew through "The Parrot's Perch" in two sittings. There are few books in my personal library that are more intense. This incredible memoir by Karen Keilt is about a woman who grew up in a life of opulence in lush Brazil in the '50s and '60s. She meets the love of her life and they get married shortly after she turns 23. They have a blissful few months as newlyweds before they are arrested in the middle of the night, and life as she knows it comes crashing down.
Knowing that this book is a true story kept my heart racing and flipping page after page. The experiences of Rick and Karen are harrowing and horrifying. And what you will find out through the book is that the terrors that befall these two still happen today.
The writing is clear, fast-paced, and heart-stopping. One thing I love about this book is how Karen so deftly demonstrates how trauma ripples through one's life and relationships.
The book asks: how do you recover from something that is worse than death?
This book was quite a ride, but overall I'm still giving it five stars. While this book may not be for everyone, she is excellent at communicating her experiences and bringing you into her world. To write a book like this, all I can think is: what an incredible weight to bear into fruition.
Thank you to NetGalley for my gift copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CW for this book: false imprisonment, r*pe, torture
OMG I am a writer without words; much of my reading time was spent with hand over mouth, and an inner sorrow for what the author and her husband endured. The vulnerability of place and time. What a brave woman. I can't write more, but I thought it was well written and a gripper and find myself wishing forever days filled with joy for the author.
The Parrot's Perch is a stunning story of survival and redemption in the face of horrible brutality. My goal this year was to read more culturally diverse stories. There was no better place to start than with a memoir about a culture that I don't have much exposure to. I went into this read with very little background on what the story would be about and right from the start I felt connected with Karen.
Karen's story was one of an entirely sheltered young woman from an affluent family who thought her place in the world meant security and fairy tale happiness. She was raised in a family who held strongly to the societal mores of the time and Karen tried her best to live as the daughter and wife she was expected to be. Without any spoilers, she grew into adulthood, she became more aware of the less than savory characters in her family and social circle and unintentionally gets caught up in their legal messes. The brutality she faced at the hands of the government is outlined vividly and is so intense I found myself having to put the book down. Her strength through the initial ordeal and her subsequent attempts to live her life by her terms is inspiring.
If you're a fan of the National Geographic show 'Locked Up Abroad' then you will really enjoy this book.
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This story of the authors life is told in 2013 as she sits down then at the age of sixty, to testify at the Brazilian National Truth Commission at the UN in New York. Hoping to help convict those who did these horrible thing, but also to prevent them from happening again. Wow this is a very intense recount of her life's story, focusing mainly on an incident she and her husband suffered in jail at the hands of the Brazilian police. It takes us through her life of privilege, her relationships with family , and friends and how those relationships were probably an impetus for what happened to them. This recounting, even at the age of sixty had the author very emotional as she retells of the awful torture the couple received in the 45 days in jail, as they waited for someone to free them. The author is a very strong individual, who was able to carry on with her life although never being able to erase what had happened. The book was hard to put down, some parts very hard to read, but I wanted to find out how each stage of her life turned out. This was really a remarkable story. I would like to thank NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC of this book
In The Parrot’s Perch (She Writes Press), Karen Keilt offers a brave and detailed account of how she and her newly-wed husband Rick Sage were illegally incarcerated on trumped-up drug charges, tortured for forty-five horrific days by the Brazilian police and then forced to rebuild their broken selves without retribution from Brazilian authorities or answers from her own complicated family.
Karen grew up in a luxuriously upscale neighborhood of Sao Paolo, Brazil with a pervasive sense from her earliest years that something awful could happen at any time. Her father was a Brazilian businessman with a strong resemblance to Clark Gable and whispers of CIA connections. While he provided the family with an opulent lifestyle that left them wanting for nothing, Karen and her brother, as well as her mother, lived in fear. In addition to times when money was scarce or when they had to leave the country for months at a time for unexplained reasons, her father rarely showed the love Karen craved from him. Her stunning, American ex-pat mother deferred at all costs to her husband in return for the house of her dreams and provided little emotional support to Karen in her growing-up years. Karen’s drug-dealer brother skirted the law both in Brazil and in the United States, adding to the family tension.
The story unfolds around an interview Karen gave to the Brazilian National Truth Commission in December 2013 about the abuses she and her now-ex-husband suffered at the hands of Brazilian law enforcement. Using the interview questions to launch her powerful story, Karen describes the golden days of her privileged childhood, meeting Rick the affluent American, their fairytale wedding that she planned for a year, the police torture four months later that did not end until their families had paid the required ransom amount (just as other affluent families had done), her daunting struggle to unravel the reasons for the arrest, her repeated attempts to build her marriage and family life in Brazil with her now-damaged husband and her escape with her baby son to America to build a new life there.
*I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review*
This book - where do I even begin?
From the first few pages, I was completely drawn in. I could feel her dread, her anxiety, her fear. I could feel the hope and the love she had when she first met Rick and how hopeful she was for her future.
And then, when she gets taken - it's like a solid punch to the gut. The unbelievable bravery of this woman to not only survive what she did but to relive it and share it with a world who knew nothing about it - the strength that takes is monumental.
I was horrified at the things she talked about regarding the Brazilian government and how corrupt everything was - the fact that government workers who kidnap and torture their own people is appalling. The way women were treated back then (and maybe still are - I don't know) is just...it's terribly, terribly sad. The insight into the Brazilian government and the way things are down there was eye opening and it makes one grateful to live in a country that, while problematic in a lot of ways, at least grants so much more freedom than other places do.
This is a story of strength, of bravery, of unbelievable spirit and courage. It is tragic and horrifying and heartbreaking - I cried more than once for the things they had to endure. But it is also one of hope and endurance and love. This is a story of a woman who was broken and still decided that life was worth living, even if she was different than Before. It is an incredibly powerful read and I highly recommend it.
Karen Keilt had a beautiful and happy childhood (minus her father's sporadic rages). She grew up wealthy, went on countless vacations, and was waited on by servants and nannies. Eventually, she gets married and prepares for her perfect fairy tale ending... Until the day that her and her husband are taken prisoner by the Brazilian police force and are considered "guilty until proven innocent." They survive a month and a half of hell, but barely. Their experiences in that dank, filthy, horrible place had tumultuous effects on their lives and their marriage. Karen and Rick struggle immensely to adapt to the normalcy of every day life outside of the Brazilian torture chambers.
The Parrot's Perch is a powerful read. As with most memoirs, it is tragic. I would put this one in a tragedy category of its own though. The brutal torture and detainment that Karen Keilt and her then husband Rick endured in a Brazilian prison is too much to fully fathom as a mere reader. Karen Kilt is the embodiment of a courageous warrior, proof of what the human spirit can endure; she has a deep & astounding resiliency that many others would not have after suffering the same. This is a must read for all Americans, myself included, that take their freedom for granted. In America, "Innocent until proven guilty" may not seem like a privilege or something to appreciate, but when the police in Brazil have unyielding reign to torture, rape, and maim without reason and/or consequences, we need too learn how lucky we really are. Unfortunately this stuff STILL happens in Brazil and we need to be aware. Bad things happen everywhere, but in Brazil, the torturers have full immunity and protection. I am proud to live in a country where the majority of those that vow to "serve and protect," actually do.
Thank you @booksparks for sending me a copy of this very powerful book.
This is an incredible story of courage and survival. This is one woman's journey through hell and hope. Karen Keilt describes the horrors of her physical and mental torture at the hands of corrupt forces in her native Brazil and the ordeal of her personal betrayals and ultimate triumphs. It is not an easy read but an important one to hear. Her remarkable journey to reclaim her sanity and her soul is one I will never forget, one of grace and courage and truth. Her raw honesty about her experience is unforgettable.
The Parrot's Perch by Karen Keilt is a memoir of the testimony she gave before The Brazilian national Truth Commission (whorrich was constituted to find the truth of the atrocities committed in the time of military rule. The account is chilling, graphic in detail as Karen narrates the sequences that turned her fairy tale life that any girl dreams of. The tortures , the beatings and rapes perpetrated by the corrupt police on Karen and her newly wed husband who were arrested on a false charge and never formally arrested or charged with just note that they were brought for questioning became a statistic in the horrific crimes committed by the state. the narrative chills your heart and there is a saying in Hindi "Rongte khade kar dena" though it literally means Gets you goosebumps (in Hindi means very horrifying and scary ) Through the narrative Karen just tells the story as she remembers and never tries to sugar coat or add more details and never asks for pity or sympathy but demands truth and justice and tries to understand why it happened and still happens She tries to get hang and move on from those more than month long horror that destroyed her almost perfect life and marriage and she had to escape from both using false means as the patriarchal society wouldn't have allowed her either to talk about or escape from those days but her father and husband ans silently her mother too just wanted her to forget as it never happened . Though she built a new life in US with another loving man and her son but those days still haunted her and she wanted answers. Thanks @ReadersHouse for connecting me to the author
Before I went to work one morning, I figured I would start my day with this book. I ended up having to rush to work. What an engrossing story! It is difficult to believe that this is a memoir rather than fiction, because of the unbelievably well-written scenery and the story itself. It is a descriptive novel that shows the reader through major events in the life of the author. Normally, biographies do not really catch my eye because most people do not really have a story to tell. This book is different.
When my workday ended, I went back home and immediately picked up where I had left off that morning. The very next day I finished the book. It took me a few days to fully process its contents, but now I can honestly say that it is one of the best reads I have experienced (yes, experienced!) this year. Its impact will undoubtedly stay with me for quite some time.
Thank you NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for an eGalley in exchange for my honest review.
I'll admit, the cover drew me in and I'm so glad that I did. What an honest and gut wrenching memoir.
Karen, a daughter of a Brazilian father and an American mother seemed to have it all. She had just gotten married to her American husband Rick after a whirlwind romance. Then, one night everything changes. Karen Keilt shares her story of being victim of abuse and false arrest by the Brazilian Police after they "find" cocaine in the house she shared with her first husband. After Karen is finally released from her captivity, all she wanted to do was talk about what happened, but everyone tells her to let it go. After her husband commits the final straw, Karen and her young son leave for the United States in hope of a better life away from the corrupt Brazilian government.
Karen's memoir is based off her interview with a woman trying to bring justice to those in the Brazilian government that committed the heinous abuses against her, her husband, and many others. I highly recommend it.
A memoir of a gilded childhood in Brazil, that child becoming a young woman with aspirations of Olympic success. But there was always a darkness around the edges, a father with film-star looks, who was also mercurial, domineering and had a ferocious temper. And there were secrets. Secrets that may have led to the newly-wed author's arrest and imprisonment along with her husband. The torture and abuse the author and her husband were subjected to in prison was horrific, the worst a human being can do to another. Surviving that ordeal and its aftermath, both physically and psychologically, required unimaginable courage and strength.
In a country and society that didn't want to know after her release, that didn't want to pick at the scabs, the author had to endure an isolation that almost broke her. Putting herself back together through all the subsequent left-turns that life brings was a feat of extraordinary determination. A fascinating read from the start, it became increasingly compelling. I could not put it down.
This book was difficult to read as the author describes torture, but also difficult to put down - I read it in two days. I tried not to flinch and skip any words knowing the author had no such option in living it. The least we can do as readers is bear witness. Karen tells her story with honesty, incredible detail, and purpose: to expose the horrors and corruption in Brazil that go on today, and that ruin lives. Karen's story is complex and full of surprises, drama, cruelty, difficult decisions, love, and human fallibility.
Truth is stranger than fiction. "You can't make this stuff up," I often find myself saying. The Parrot's Perch reminded me that behind so many of the people we hurry by are stories of unimaginable pain and most of the time, stunning resilience. It's a privilege to have someone pull back the veil on their life and share an extraordinary story.