Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Contreras) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
The use of raw potato to treat any ailment. Guard booths and gates. Buying barrels of water during blackouts. Leaving the television on to know exactly when the electricity comes back on. And the graphic news reports, the car bombs, the kidnappings, the ever-present fear in your gut that something terrible could happen to someone you love at any moment. It's vividly specific details like these that made me wince in recognition while reading Ingrid Rojas Contreras's Fruit of the Drunken Tree, a beautifully rendered novel of an Escobar-era Colombian childhood. Although this debut novel is inspired by the author's personal experiences…you don't need to have grown up in Bogot? to be taken in by Contreras's simple but memorable prose and absorbing story line.… [S]ensitive and thoughtful.
Julianne Pachico - New York Times Book Review

One of the most dazzling and devastating novels I’ve read in a long time.… An exquisitely intimate double portrait of two young women.… Unforgettable.… Readers of Fruit of the Drunken Tree will surely be transformed.
San Francisco Chronicle

Simultaneously propulsive and poetic, reminiscent of Isabel Allende.… Fruit of the Drunken Tree offers a wake-up call for many. An eye-opening story of survival in a place history books and crime sagas (see: "Narcos") would have us think we know better than we do.… Listen to this new author’s voice—she has something powerful to say.
Entertainment Weekly

Original, politically daring, and passionately written—Fruit of the Drunken Tree is the coming-of-age female empowerment story we need in 2018.

[F]ull of details about life in early 1990s Colombia during the last year of Pablo Escobar’s reign of terror.… This striking novel offers an atmospheric journey into the narrow choices for even a wealthy family as society crumbles around them.
Publishers Weekly

(Starred review) Rojas Contreras's…does an excellent job of articulating the complicated political situation and illustrating the heartbreaking day-to-day reality for children.… A fascinating, poetic read from an up-and-coming author. —Kate Gray, Boston P.L., MA
Library Journal

[I}ncomparable.… 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…. A riveting, powerful, and fascinating first novel.

The perils of day-to-day existence in late-20th-century Colombia …are glimpsed through the eyes of a child and her family's teenage maid…. A tragic history…, and the results are patchy: sometimes constrained by invention, sometimes piercing.
Kirkus Reviews

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