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Extended Audio Sample The Invisible Mountain Audiobook, by Carolina De Robertis Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (640 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carolina De Robertis Narrator: Christine Avila Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9780739384473
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With her distinctive storytelling abilities and indelibly drawn characters, Carolina De Robertis illuminates a dark moment in contemporary Latin America. Intimate with the region, she crafts an emotionally pitch-perfect tale of a young woman who makes a horrifying—but ultimately liberating—discovery about her origins.

Perla Correa grew up a privileged only child in Buenos Aires with a polished, aloof mother and a straitlaced naval officer father, whose profession she learned early on not to disclose in a country still reeling from the abuses perpetrated by the deposed military dictatorship. Although Perla understands that her parents were on the wrong side of the conflict, her love for her papá is unconditional. But when she is startled by an uninvited visitor, she begins a journey that will force her to confront the unease she has long suppressed and make a wrenching decision about who she is and who she will become.

This rich human drama is based on the truth of thirty thousand disappeared Argentinean citizens and five hundred babies who were born in clandestine detention centers, torn from their mothers, and secretly given up for adoption. In the years that followed this dark time, some of these children have discovered the identities of their true families, and they continue to do so today. Perla brings history to life as only fiction can, in an intimate, unforgettable portrait of one young woman’s explosive search for truth. De Robertis unfolds a gripping and historically resonant tale with keen-eyed compassion, luminous prose, and a startling vision of the incomparable power of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Carolina De Robertis is a writer of uncanny wisdom and an alchemist of words. With The Invisible Mountain, she has introduced us to an unfamiliar landscape of harsh contradictions and of the heavy burden history often plays in the shaping and altering of lives on the brink of change. The Invisible Mountain introduces a gifted literary voice mapping the uncharted territories of the Americas in a fearless new way. Alex Espinoza, author of Still Water Saints
     
  • With this marvelous novel, Carolina De Robertis brings to vivid life the history and culture of Uruguay, a country too-long neglected in the consciousness of the Americas.  Bold, passionate, and filled with songs both ecstatic and tragic, De Robertis tells the stories of three generations of women whose lives transcend the ordinary. Cristina García, author of Dreaming in Cuban
  • A lyrical, haunting story about three generations of an extraordinary family, and an evocative tribute to the endurance of women and the spirit of poetry. Diana Gabaldon, author of The Outlander series
  • The Invisible Mountain does what the best, most readable novels do: it tells a compelling human story about identity while also quietly evoking a place and time. O, The Oprah Magazine (in “10 Terrific Reads of 2009”)
     
  • Passionate and beautiful…De Robertis has created a vivid new landscape, both internal and external, and provided the reader with a glimpse of the country of her ancestry, a land haunted by a mountain that is not really a mountain. Lynn Rosen, The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • The Invisible Mountain is a poetic and absorbing generational epic that pays tribute to a colorful culture and amazing history.  De Robertis is a promising young writer, and we can only hope there is much more to come from her. Rebecca Stropoli, BookPage
  • A galloping saga...hugely ambitious.  De Robertis [has] an apparently bottomless gift for lush metaphor.  The Invisible Mountain winds up being the kind of novel you stay up late to finish and lie awake thinking about.  It is breathless, full of tenderness...its ensemble of women and men [are] bent on living every moment as if on fire, answering the great question of life (how, then, to live?) as passionately, with as much teeth-rattling urgency, as they humanly can. Joan Frank, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Enchanting, funny and heartbreaking…Beautifully written yet deliberate in its storytelling, [The Invisible Mountain is] an extraordinary first effort whose epic scope and deft handling reverberate with the deep pull of ancestry, the powerful influence of one’s country and the sacrifices of reinvention. Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
  • De Robertis is a skilled storyteller, but it is her use of language—from the precision of poetry to the sensuality of sex—that makes this literary debut so exceptional. Michele Leber, Booklist (starred review)
  • Beautifully wrought…Miracles, poetry, and guerilla fighters march through the twentieth century in De Robertis's winning debut…Dense and lush, filled with lyrical storytelling. Kirkus Reviews
  • An incantatory debut…This visionary book beautifully, bravely breaks open all the old secrets. Lisa Shea, Elle
  • The brainiest dynastic novel in years. A high-end story full of sex, politics and family. Sara Nelson, The Daily Beast
  • Deeply engrossing…This novel makes us ponder the struggles of our own grandmothers, mothers, and daughters, and gives us the compassion to recognize that the links between us are deeper than the differences.  A fierce, wise, and tender tale. Anita Amirrezvani, author of The Blood of Flowers
  • With grace, fluidity and a modicum of magic, an extraordinary and passionate family navigate the social and political landscapes of South America. The Invisible Mountain is a wonderful story; and De Robertis is a writer to watch. Matthew Aaron Goodman, author of Hold Love Strong

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Coco | 2/20/2014

    " Brilliant debut novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anne | 2/18/2014

    " A good story that flows along, despite a language a bit too florid at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cheryl A | 2/18/2014

    " Spanning the bulk of the 20th century, this debut novel tells the story of Pajarita, a miracle child of the turn of the century, her daughter Eva and Eva's daughter Salome. Weaving the history of Uruguay into the family history of these three women, we see the strength of these characters as they search for love, making sacrifices for the love of their family. Bleak and horrific events are told in such a lyrical voice that the reader often doesn't realize right away how ugly the events actually are. As the century progresses, so does the complexity of the lives of the characters. Although full of both symbolism and magic realism, the author deftly wove these into the story without losing the pace of the narrative. A powerful first novel, well worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marceline | 2/10/2014

    " Spectacular. Sweeping. Touching and unforgettable characters. I can't wait for her second book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melvago | 2/7/2014

    " Set in Uraguay, this is this story of 3 generations of strong women who express themselves through poetry, and political revolution. The writer has a way with words that I've never found before. Each sentence is like a painting, with many colors, accents, and layers. I listened to it on CD and enjoyed ever minute. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 1/30/2014

    " Who new that Uruguay was so interesting...? I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jess | 1/28/2014

    " a great little book of 3 generations of women...the longing for a trip to argentina begins again... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 1/28/2014

    " Having read a few other reviews, I expected to like this book. I was not prepared for the depth and power of its impact. This beautifully written tale reminds me of early books by Isabel Allende. It's easily read and understood, setting it apart from some literary fiction. Yet the prose is so gorgeous that it's like reading music. Every page is loaded with unexpected and scintillating analogies and descriptions. The characters ARE unforgettable, men and women of legends. I heartily recommend this beautiful work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 1/17/2014

    " Since I love to read family sagas I mostly enjoyed the book and felt I learned a lot about South America's tumultuous politics of the 1960s, 1970 & early 1980s. I only gave it three stars due to a needlessly dragged out story in the book and its' rather melancholy ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 stillme | 1/17/2014

    " This could be such a wet and heavy world. It could flood a normal night with ruthless rain...could seep into your secret soil, even when you wish you wish you wish you could stay dry (p. 60-61). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sabrina | 1/12/2014

    " I thought this book was deeply insightful into the relationships between mothers and daughters. It was truly an emotional book:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurel | 1/10/2014

    " Story of three generations of women in Uruguay...since I'm totally ignorant of Uruguayan culture and history, I found it fascinating. Great writing and subtle secrets that slowly leak throughout the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia A | 12/9/2013

    " Interesting stories of several generations of women and their daughters among political unrest in Uruguay. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Heather | 11/4/2013

    " Didn't want to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marylin | 7/17/2013

    " Two REAL good ones in a row--BINGO!! This debut novel was beautifully written--narrated by three generations of women living in Uruguay. Although a fictional offering, the history and culture of the country is factual and a great learning experience. I highly recommend this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nadine Dajani | 6/17/2013

    " Adored this book! Three generations of women, living in very different times in Uraguay's dark political past. Carolina is reminiscent of Isabel Allende's earlier books, without Allende's humour, but with beautiful and lyrical prose. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne Soin | 6/11/2012

    " Good read - read it over a weekend "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sal | 4/24/2012

    " Yet another poet dips into novel-writing with great success. Lush, poetic language and images. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kasa Cotugno | 2/29/2012

    " I found this to be an interminable slog. The women seemed cliched and never fully came alive, and I doubt I would have read as much as I did if I wasn't reading it for a bookclub. Uruguay also didn't materialize in the way I'd hoped. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 1/30/2012

    " Heartbreaking and lovely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Lou | 9/3/2011

    " Three generations of independent South American women begin with Pajarita (little bird) & her flight from a tree & include another who survives years of imprisonment. Their men are there too, one being a boat builder from Italy & his predecessors. Excellent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katrina | 8/24/2011

    " delicious South American lit, but in English, so I can read it without a dictionary in my lap. :) LOVE! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug | 6/2/2011

    " Uneven, with some under-developed plot lines, allusions, and references (including the mysticism reference). The last third of the book (about Salome) was the most engaging for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessie | 3/24/2011

    " Perfect beach reading. A story of three generations of women in Argentina and Uruguay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 3/14/2011

    " The writing is lyrical, drenched in poetry and dreams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/28/2011

    " beautiful prose! very lyrical and dreamy, I loved the imagery! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephen | 2/20/2011

    " Really enjoyed this novel of 3 generations of women living in south america and you feel the atmosphere and passions of the characters in Robertis novel from rio, buenos aires to montevideo and with at times with the background of polticial dictatorships "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brianne | 2/14/2011

    " this book is so beautiful and showcased such powerful women. i couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Audrey | 2/8/2011

    " Really great!! It was a little slow getting started, and I had some difficulty with the writing style, but am I ever glad I stuck with it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/12/2011

    " Once again, the setting, Uruguay, drew me to this book. This family saga of three generations of women makes it a somewhat typical Latin tale, but the fact that the story is based on the author's family gives it strength. A fine debut. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 1/10/2011

    " Good book - follows the lives of three women, Mom, Daughter and Grandaughter in Uraguay from 1900 - 2000. I enjoyed the characters and while some awful stuff happens, it is a great family saga. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcia | 12/29/2010

    " Interesting stories of several generations of women and their daughters among political unrest in Uruguay. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/10/2010

    " An interesting book about three generations of a family and life in Uruguay. At times it seemed a bit like a soap opera, lots of drama and tragedy...but, still a very good historical fiction. "

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About the Author
Author Carolina De Robertis

Carolina De Robertis was raised in England, Switzerland, and California by Uruguayan parents. She is the author of two previous novels, Perla and The Invisible Mountain—a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle, Booklist and O, the Oprah Magazine—the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her permanent home is in Oakland, California.

About the Narrator

Christine Avila is an actress, known for her film roles in Liar LiarInnerspace, and Shallow Ground, as well as numerous roles in television series