I received an advance copy of this book from Random House and I really enjoyed it. While INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN cannot be classified as magical realist, I believe that fans of the Latin American magical realist fiction genre will find much to enjoy about this tale of three generations of women in Uruguay. This book most reminded me of Allende's HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS. Indeed, the character of Salome and that of Blanca in Allende's work are cut from the same cloth.
INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN follows the lives of three generations of women as they struggle to find their place in Uruguayan society. Pajarita begins her life as a miracle child at the turn of the century and holds her family together with her unorthodox skills as her husband battles his own demons. Her daughter, Eva, learns early on about how hard the world can be and fights to come into her own as a woman and a poet while making difficult compromises. Eva's daughter, Salome, takes the family struggle even further as she becomes empassioned by the work of Che Guevara and engages in her country's political struggles.
Each woman in this book is finely crafted with her own sensibilities, desires and way of looking at the world. It is hard to decide which one I was more intrigued by. The book often made me sad as I witnessed how difficult life often was for these women. However, the bonds of this family are as strong as the women. The women approach life in very different ways but each one manages to find her place and a special inner strength.
This book will be released at the end of the month.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. An engaging tale of family and the lives of women against the backdrop of a political landscape that includes Evita Peron and Che Guevara.