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The Resource Fruit of the drunken tree : a novel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Fruit of the drunken tree : a novel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Label
Fruit of the drunken tree : a novel
Title
Fruit of the drunken tree
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
LibraryReads Favorites, 2018.
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In this incomparable debut novel, Contreras draws on her own experience growing up in turbulent 1990s Bogotá, Colombia, amid the violence and social instability fueled by Pablo Escobar’s narcotics trafficking. In vividly rendered prose, textured with generous Spanish, Contreras tells the story of an unlikely bond between two girls on the verge of womanhood: Chula, the daughter of a middle-class family, and Petrona, the teenager hired to serve as the family’s maid. While Chula’s family can afford to protect themselves behind the suburban walls of a gated community, Petrona must support her many siblings as they struggle to survive the inner-city slums. Despite their differences, and driven by Chula’s curiosity about Petrona’s odd habits, the two become inseparably close until decisions must be made that will alter their futures forever. Contreras’ deeply personal connection to the setting lends every scene a vital authenticity, and a seemingly unlimited reservoir of striking details brings the action to life, like the trumpets and accordions on Christmas Eve, or the messy Afro of Petrona’s suspicious new boyfriend. A riveting, powerful, and fascinating first novel. -- Báez, Diego (Reviewed 5/15/2018) (Booklist, vol 114, number 18, p22)
  • Set against the violence of 1990s Colombia, a young girl and a maid form an unlikely and dangerous relationship. Equal parts heartwrenching and beautiful. -- Alejandra Rodriguez, Osceola County Library, FL. (LibraryReads, July 2018)
  • Rojas Contreras packs her coming-of-age debut full of details about life in early 1990s Colombia during the last year of Pablo Escobar’s reign of terror. Seven-year-old Chula’s sheltered life in a gated community with her mother and older sister Cassandra cracks open with the arrival of 13-year-old maid Petrona. Petrona comes from a nearby shanty town and fascinates the implausibly precocious Chula, whose greatest excitements are spying on the richest lady in their neighborhood and hunting ghosts. Chula’s formidable mother, Alma, grew up in a slum and copes with standoffish and judgmental well-heeled neighbors while her husband works in the oil fields. The family temporarily flees to Alma’s home village to escape Bogotá’s escalating violence, while Chula and Petrona get drawn into a situation that will eventually pose a dire threat. Chula’s fixation on the news allows smooth introduction of the historical events surrounding Colombia’s instability and Escobar’s eventual death. The skeletal chapters from Petrona’s perspective provide some belated explanations for the danger she exposed the family to. This striking novel offers an atmospheric journey into the narrow choices for even a wealthy family as society crumbles around them. (July) --Staff (Reviewed 05/21/2018) (Publishers Weekly, vol 265, issue 21, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Based on the author's experiences growing up in drug war-torn Bógota in the late 1980s and early 1990s, this moving story is told in the dreamlike voice of seven-year-old Chula, who lives with her sister, Cassandra, and their proud, personable mother in a rich neighborhood while their father is away working in an oil field. Then 13-year-old Petrona, whose now poverty-stricken family was ripped apart by guerillas, comes to work for them. Enamored of Petrona, Chula sets out to discover all she can about the girl and her new, dangerous boyfriend, no matter the cost to her own safety. Young Chula also harbors morbid fascinations with bloody tales of local car bombings and follows politics with as much fervor as she does telenovelas. Rojas Contreras's narrative presents a Colombia different from that portrayed in popular media, such as Netflix's --Kate Gray (Reviewed 05/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 8, p65)
  • The perils of day-to-day existence in late-20th-century Colombia—a time of drug lords, guerrillas, kidnappings, and car bombs—are glimpsed through the eyes of a child and her family's teenage maid, whose relationship exposes two facets of the class divide. Choosing a young girl to deliver a perspective on political chaos and terror is a mixed blessing in Contreras' debut, set in Bogotá in the lawless era of Pablo Escobar. Her chief narrator is 7-year-old Chula Santiago, whose dreamy insights and immaturity both intensify and limit what the narrative can offer. Chula is the bright younger daughter of an oil worker employed by an American company and whose income allows the family to live in the relative safety of a gated neighborhood. The Santiagos' maid, Petrona Sánchez, introduces a different perspective. Her family has been destroyed by the paramilitary that burned down their farm and abducted her father and elder brothers. Now Petrona, her mother, and her siblings live in "a hut made of trash" in the capital's slums, prey to gangs, drugs, and thugs. While the two girls develop a bond, their separate experiences include political assassination, desolation, addiction, and dangers of many kinds alongside the fancifulness, games, and easy, often thoughtless distractions of childhood. Chula and her sister are indulged by their parents and leave town when threats appear at their most extreme. Petrona, struggling to support her family, falls under the sway of a shady but charismatic boy, Gorrión. Through Chula's eyes, events take place in a drifting, foreshortened present, and her incomprehension at times denies the story a quality of three-dimensionality. But a sudden gear change reorders matters, plunging the narrative into a flurry of dangerous developments from which everyone emerges redefined. A tragic history is filtered through fiction, and the results are patchy: sometimes constrained by invention, sometimes piercing. (Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2018)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10677128
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Rojas Contreras, Ingrid
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3618.O5355
LC item number
F78 2018
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Violence
  • Sisters
  • Teenage girls
  • Families
  • Bogotá (Colombia)
Label
Fruit of the drunken tree : a novel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
viii, 306 pages
Isbn
9780385542722
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2017039664
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Label
Fruit of the drunken tree : a novel, Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
viii, 306 pages
Isbn
9780385542722
Isbn Type
(hbk.)
Lccn
2017039664
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n

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