(Vintage, Aug 10, 2010)
As much as this novel is a family saga, it is also a history of Uruguay from the early 1900s to the present. It depicts three generations of passionate, principled women: herbalist and grandmother Pajarita, poet and mother Eva and anarchist and daughter Salomé. Driven by deep-seated left-wing convictions, they defy decades of military dictatorships and repression. The leitmotif is that of hope and optimism – the characters always return to their mountainless city, Montevideo, “Monte. Vide. Eu. I see a mountain”. At times grippingly horrifying, at times sensual and exotic, the tastes, sounds and sights of Uruguay and Montevideo flood the reader, evoking a sense of sweeping history without resorting to the magic realism often associated with Latin American literature.
The book has received unanimous praise – deservedly so. The Invisible Mountain was a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle; O, The Oprah Magazine; and Booklist. For this novel, De Robertis was the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize and a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.Her latest novel is The Gods of Tango (July 2015). It was selected by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the Best Books of 2015, and by NBC Latino as one of the Top Ten Latino Books of 2015.
Read the review of The Gods of Tango.