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Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis
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it was amazing
bookshelves: history, latino, lgbtq, contemporary-fiction

This beautiful book about five women in Uruguay is one of the most unique narratives I've ever read.

It is 1977 and Uruguay is in the holds of a military dictatorship. Five city women, looking for a break from the stifling confines of city life, are brought together through various means. They travel as a group to Cabo Polonia, a deserted beach town on the coast. By the end of the week, the five of them have formed a bond that will follow them for the rest of their lives. Though their circumstances differ in many ways, there is one thing that ties them together--their desire to be intimate with other women. Flaca, Anita, Romina, Malena, and Paz have all been affected by the subversive political situation. Curfews, arrests, and an overall feeling of fear has caused them to crave a short time where they can be themselves. In Polonia, living in a tiny mud-floor shack, with no running water or beds, they spend time in the ocean, under the stars, and reflecting on their situations. The destructive regime has put an end to all sorts of freedoms, but the most dangerous one to practice is the one they are all guilty of--the simple act of desiring women instead of men.

De Robertis does a stunning job of highlighting the struggles of these well developed fictional women in a patriarchal, authoritarian society before the gay rights movement arrived there. The book is a slow burn, one that lingers on long conversations and streams of thought. The landscape is breathtaking, and though there are horrific circumstances uncovered, the overriding vibe is one of pure Latin American charm.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 17, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 18, 2019 – Shelved
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: history
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: latino
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: lgbtq
July 18, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary-fiction

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