The Memory Stones

Caroline Brothers. Bloomsbury, $26 (480p) ISBN 978-1-63286-016-3
Set in Buenos Aires in the mid 1970s and Mexico City in the late ’90s, Brothers’s (Hinterland) novel moves back and forth between the final meeting of the Ferrero family at their coastal getaway Tigre—a quiet time before a storm of violence seizes Argentina—and the aftermath of their life after the political storm has swept through. Osvaldo Ferrero, a respected doctor, and his wife, Yolanda, escape to their beach home for a few days with their daughters—the older, dispassionate Julieta (in her 20s) and youthfully ardent Graciela (19), who is madly in love. These will be the final days the family ever spends together. On their return to Buenos Aires, the Argentine military stages a coup. Friends vanish overnight, and Osvaldo is forced to flee. When Graciela and her fiancé are abducted, Osvaldo must helplessly stand aside as the political turmoil unfolds. But Yolanda takes to the streets to look for a clue pointing to the location of Graciela. As her sleuthing takes an unexpected turn, Yolanda believes she might also be looking for a grandchild she’s never met. Brothers’s harrowing novel tells the disturbing story of the Disappeared—thousands of Argentinians who were kidnapped or murdered during the ’70s in Argentina—with verve and grace. Depicting the despair and hope of a family recovering from the horrors of military rule, it is a devastating portrait of a country in the grip of true terror, and the long, dark shadow such systemic violence leaves behind. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/08/2016
Release date: 10/25/2016
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-1-4088-7282-6
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