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Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel

Fruit of the Drunken Tree: A Novel

"Ingrid Rojas Contreras' loosely autobiographical novel presents an authentic, organic narrative about the insidious nature of trauma and its effects on individuals and communities. Taking place in Colombia during the height of Pablo Escobar's influence, the violence of paramilitaries and guerrilla armies touch every aspect of seven-year-old Chula's life. When her mother brings home a teenage maid whose family has been devastated by conflict, she becomes the girl's secret-keeper and sole witness to the tragedies that befall her new friend. With shocking scenes depicted with beautiful prose, this novel left me feeling haunted and moved."

Melissa S.

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Author Ingrid Rojas Contreras
Publisher Doubleday
Publication Date 2018-07-31
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Melissa S.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780385542722

"A beautifully rendered novel of an Escobar-era Colombian childhood...Arresting..."
—The New York Times Book Review

A mesmerizing debut set in Colombia at the height Pablo Escobar's violent reign about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2018 by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed,BBC, New York Post, GoodReads, Refinery29, Bustle, BookRiot, Nylon, Fast Company, The Millions

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.
     When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city's guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona's mysterious ways. But Petrona's unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls' families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal. 
     Inspired by the author's own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.

"Original, politically daring, and passionately written—Fruit of the Drunken Tree is the coming-of-age female empowerment story we need in 2018."

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