📖 Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
This narrative follows alternating perspectives of two young women in Colombia during Pablo Escobar’s reign of narcoterrorism. Chula lives a comparatively privileged life with her family, and her story intersects with that of Petrona, living a troubled life in an invasione in Bogota. Petrona becomes employed as a maid in Chula’s household, and we glimpse a snapshot of their lives as they each are impacted by Escobar and their relationship of sorts with each other. The depth of this narrative is in the experiences shared by both women, and the course this points them in for the rest of their lives.
Much of the early novel is immersed in detailed descriptions of each of their lives and the Bogota of their late childhood/early teen years. For me, the writing was at its most powerful towards the end of the novel when the chapters became much shorter, the descriptions more sparse, and the author was able to say far more with the brevity of her prose. The confusion written into some of the more fast paced scenes within the narrative gave a sense of the frantic mood and desperation of the times, but as a reader sometimes lost me in the blur of details.
Definitely read the author’s note at the end of this novel, and I highly recommend listening to the @thereadingwomen interview with the author that was released last week. Thanks to Robert (@barterhordes) for buddy reading this one with me, and to NetGalley and DoubleDay Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.