Fruit of the Drunken Tree

by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
(4.45 stars – Goodreads rating)

To Be Published July 31, 2018, by Doubleday

Genre: Fiction / Historical Fiction

Format: Kindle Edition

Page Count: 304

drunken fruitMamá always said — the life she knew was a last-minute tsunami that could sweep away fathers, money, food, and children.

Chula and her family live in Bogatá in a nice home with all the standard comforts. Just a few miles away, their young housekeeper, Petrona, lives in a makeshift hut in the hills with the remnants of her large family and no comforts. But the thing that connects them all is the violence of the time and place in which they live. Car bombs, kidnappings, drought, and hours-long bans on electricity equalize them all in the country where the paramilitary, guerrillas, and Pablo Escobar are constant threats to “normal” life.

We made ourselves deaf and dumb, but still we lost. The story repeated itself, and we lost some more. We had no other choice.

Ingrid Rojas Contreras writes an engaging fictional novel set in the late ’80s through the early ’90s based on actual events in her own life and countless others living in Colombia. The story is told in two perspectives: nine-year-old Chula and fifteen-year-old Petrona, both of which are laced with an ominous expectation of something terrible looming just over the horizon. Events loop through past and present sometimes in limited, unconnected ways – typical of a young girl with limited experience and understanding.

The story is absorbing and suspenseful with characters I felt attached to even after the last word was read.

*Many thanks to NetGalley, Doubleday, and the author for providing me the opportunity to read and review this book.*

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