Beyond The Ties of Blood- Florencia Mallon(4 out of 5 stars)

This novel combines all the best of historical fiction has to offer. It almost reads so well that you think it’s not fiction, in fact. The novel goes between present-day and 1973 in Pinochet’s Chile, where the ties of uprising meet love. Eugenia is in the present-day, still tormented by her own experiences during that time, and the loss of her love during that time. You get a revealing look at the history of that time. You also get a revealing look at love between Eugenia and Manuel, and get a strong sense of how hard it is to love and build a life with someone who is intimately involved in the coup(Manuel). There’s also a child involved here, and you see firsthand the effect that the torture has on Eugenia long-term, from nightmares to scars and emotional inability to conquer her past and move on with her present. This is an incredible book in many ways- it has the emotional bonds in the relationship between Eugenia and her slain lover, the mother/daughter relationship amidst the everyday anxiety Eugenia suffers, the attempts to move on and to testify about the camps so that others know what happened and those who suffered and were killed, and trying to find a place in the present world after suffering such emotional and physical upheaval. Those who enjoy a book about how hard it is to move on from her past and move on with your life- will enjoy this. Fans of Isabel Allende, yes, will enjoy this. I think her style of writing is more similiar to Julia Alvarez, but either way you look at it, this is a great book.

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~ by generationgbooks on November 16, 2012.

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