The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas

82%

9 Critic Reviews

This is a fascinating but extremely difficult tale to read as the narration switches nine times making the novel feel more like a series of short vignettes though there some overarching common themes.
-Red Room

Synopsis

Irene dos Santos disappeared at age 15. Believed to have drowned while on holiday with her best friend, Lily Martinez, her body was never found. Now, years later, she appears ghostlike in Lily's dreams, prompting a quest for the truth behind her disappearance. Mysteriously, Lily, eight-months pregnant with her first child, slips and falls on the same day that the statue of Maria Lionza, Patron Saint of their Venezuelan town, cracks in two. Confined to her bed, Lily is surrounded by her family and closest friends, who agree that a Novena to Maria Lionza will guide the baby's spirit safely into the world. Together, through their nine nights of prayer, each offers a story to entertain Lily and her baby. What emerges is a vivid picture of Venezuela during a time of revolution and uncertainty-and the unraveling of the mystery behind Irene dos Santos.



"The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos is an intricately woven tale of love and memory from a deeply talented writer."
--- Laila Lalami, author of Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits and Secret Son

"Mascarenhas uses a 15-year-old girl's disappearance to spin a multilayered history of a Venezuelan family, incorporating folklore, political intrigue and magical realism...This family epic is immersive; no character or event is left unexplored from multiple perspectives. Indeed, the conclusion is like the final piece of an intricate puzzle." --Publishers Weekly
 

About Margaret Mascarenhas

See more books from this Author
Margaret Mascarenhas is a consulting editor, columnist and novelist. She is the author of Skin, published by Penguin India in 2001, also published in French translation by Mercure de France in 2002, and in Portuguese translation by Editora Replicacao in 2006. An American citizen of Goan origin who grew up in Venezuela, she currently resides in Goa, India. For more information please visit http://mmascgoa.tripod.com/
 
Published May 20, 2009 by Popular Library. 368 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos
All: 9 | Positive: 9 | Negative: 0

Examiner

Above average
on Jan 04 2010

Is this a novel for the average reader to sit back and enjoy? No. Is this a novel for the sophisticated reader who enjoys a good challenge? Yes.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Good
on Jun 16 2012

As can be imagined living, growing up – for that matter, being born, itself – in Venezuela is no easy task. Margaret documents all this well.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Good
on Dec 15 2009

I savored the reading of this novel and tried to solve the mysteries of who was related to each other and how.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Good
on Jul 01 2009

Rich in deeply developed characterization, this was a book which took my breath away and drew me into a world which was exciting in its sensual and exotic flavour.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Above average
on Jun 19 2009

In this novel the stories that make up the eight primary books of the novel are as independent as short stories.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Excellent
on Jun 15 2009

Very touching and different. This is one book you don't want to miss.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Good
on Jun 11 2009

This is a fascinating but extremely difficult tale to read as the narration switches nine times making the novel feel more like a series of short vignettes though there some overarching common themes.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Red Room

Excellent

Powerfully adventurous in technique and style, intriguing and exotic in locale and history, this novel appeals to the sense like the passion flower that Mascarenhas uses metaphorically throughout the novel.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Gender Across Borders

Good
on Aug 24 2009

I came away from the book not only learning about Venezuelan culture and myth, but, more importantly, that bonds between friends and family members can be left unexplained.

Read Full Review of The Disappearance of Irene Do...

Reader Rating for The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 14 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review