Jonathan's Reviews > Cantoras

Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
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really liked it

Flaca, Anita ( mostly known as La Venus), Malena, Romina, and Paz. Five women, five women living in Uruguay during the harsh dictatorship in the late 70’s, five queer women living in Uruguay trying to just be themselves in a dangerous climate surrounded by a militaristic government that they must narrowly skate by carefully keeping their true selves at bay within their own home. They find each other, they find love, friendship, family, and a secluded cape called Cabo Polonio that becomes a haven, a lighthouse, a beacon of hope for them. Much like the beautiful beach landscape that Carolina De Roberts describes, her words pound like the waves upon the rocks and the story she recites is as magnificent as the sunsets she epitomizes on these pages.
Starting in 77’ Cantoras takes us into the lives of these women for the next thirty five years as they try to navigate the changing world around them, as they too change with the world. They go back and forth from Cabo Polonio to Montevideo to Brazil, and other stretches across South America, striving for a life free of worries, and safe from the judging eyes of society and a government that would imprison them immediately all for their love of another woman. Each woman has a torrid past that we see pieced together throughout the novel like a puzzle that you never want to finish. Flaca is the motherly like figure of the group, La Venus the model-esque heart breaker, Romina the quiet one that we see grow so much, Paz whom is the youngest and we watch blossom into a woman before our eyes and come to terms with who she is and becomes almost the hub of the group, and then there is Malena, the most tragic of all. Just writing about Malena brings back the heartache I felt for her as her story unfold and find out everything that has happened to her in her life. She was very much comparable to Jude from a little life, a character you come to love and care for and just want so much for them to be happy and free to be themselves. Cantoras was a spectacular novel that brought to life the portrait of queer love, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit, it is one that also taught me a lot, and it showed me that as a society and a world we have come a long way in a short time, however, there is still a mountain to climb for all human equality, this novel is a small stepping stone into realizing we are right in the middle of a beautiful movement that continues day in and day out throughout this world.
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Reading Progress

April 13, 2019 – Started Reading
April 13, 2019 – Shelved
April 18, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
September 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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