Perla by Carolina De Robertis


12 Critic Reviews

But Ms. De Robertis's voice is distinctive and her novel vivid and memorable.
-WSJ online


A coming-of-age story, based on a recent shocking chapter of Argentine history, about a young woman who makes a devastating discovery about her origins with the help of an enigmatic houseguest.
Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires, with a cold, polished mother and a straitlaced naval officer father, whose profession she learned early on not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, but her love for her papá is unconditional. But when Perla is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has suppressed all her life, and to make a wrenching decision about who she is, and who she will become.

About Carolina De Robertis

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CAROLINA DE ROBERTIS's debut novel, The Invisible Mountain, was an international best seller, translated into fifteen languages, and was an O, The Oprah Magazine 2009 Terrific Read, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, and the recipient of the 2010 Rhegium Julii Debut Prize. Positive critical reception has amplified de Robertis's profile at the bookstores and online, and Perla will only increase the momentum.
Published March 27, 2012 by Vintage. 258 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Perla
All: 12 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 3


Below average
Feb 01 2012

That style makes for a few fecund, overwritten passages, but on the whole the story is remarkably convincing. . .

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Above average
Reviewed by Jane Housham on Sep 25 2012

De Robertis is unflinching in her depictions of the torments inflicted by the junta, but she comforts us, too, with beautiful sustained metaphors of water and light, connection and renewal.

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Publishers Weekly

Jan 30 2012

This ambitious narrative, largely told in flashbacks, is propulsive and emotionally gripping.

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WSJ online

Reviewed by Sam Sacks on Apr 06 2012

But Ms. De Robertis's voice is distinctive and her novel vivid and memorable.

Read Full Review of Perla | See more reviews from WSJ online

Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Cindy Boynton on Apr 06 2012

Interactions between Perla and the drowned man also sometimes teeter on the unbelievable, leaving the reader as unsure as Perla as to whether he's really there.

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Booklist Online

Reviewed by Annie Bostrom on Jan 01 2012

Lyrically combining into reality both the fantastic and the horrific, De Robertis weaves a beautiful and plain-faced tale about birth, rebirth, and the responsibility of inheritance from complex, startling history.

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Washington Independent Review of Books

Below average
Reviewed by Herta Feely

Though I loved the beauty of the writing, and wholeheartedly recommend the novel, there were times when I wished for a bit more dramatization, a little less “telling” of a tale that I wanted to experience more directly.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Reviewed by Martha Southgate on Mar 25 2012

In an artful blend of beauty and horror, De Robertis has made the disappeared visible once again. With that, she has done them - and us - a great service.

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City Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy McCartney on Apr 27 2012

Powerful and moving, Perla asks the question, is it possible to love a monster?

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Reviewed by Abbe Wright

This is a moving, poetic novel about the costs of revolution and the evolutionary process that is identity.

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NY Daily News

Reviewed by Sherryl Connelly on Apr 08 2012

Carolina De Robertis’ new novel “Perla” is based on a horrifically enthralling true story of a young woman raised as the daughter of an important naval officer who discovered as an adult that she was stolen at birth. . .

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Tony's Book World

Reviewed by Tony on Apr 19 2012

This is the South American novel that I’ve been looking for during the last dozen years, a novel that stunned me.

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