Crow Blue

Crow Blue

Book - 2014
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"I was thirteen. Being thirteen is like being in the middle of nowhere. Which was accentuated by the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere. In a house that wasn't mine. In a city that wasn't mine, in a country that wasn't mine, with a one-man family that, in spite of the intersections and intentions (all very good), wasn't mine.When her mother dies, thirteen-year-old Vanja is left with no family and no sense of who she is, where she belongs, and what she should do. Determined to find her biological father in order to fill the void that has so suddenly appeared in her life, Vanja decides to leave Rio de Janeiro to live in Colorado with her stepfather, a former guerrilla notorious for his violent past. From there she goes in search of her biological father, tracing her mother's footsteps and gradually discovering the truth about herself. Rendered in lyrical and passionate prose, Crow Blue is a literary road trip through Brazil and America, and through dark decades of familial and political history"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury USA, 2014.
ISBN: 9781620403365
Characteristics: 228 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Entrekin, Alison - Translator

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Bill2smith
Feb 05, 2015

This is a beautifully written book spoken from the voice of a 13 year old girl who grows up in both Brazil and Colorado. She's searching for her family and her identity. Not a whole lot happens, but what hooks the reader is the fine craftsmanship of the writer. It's filled with metaphors woven seamlessly into the girl's perceptions. When her mother dies, and she moves from Brazil to Colorado. She has to consider what few things to take with her: "Those books I had already read: I wasn't going to reread them, was I? Did it make any sense to lug around a collection of paper paving-stones with colorful covers as if they were pets: Half-blind, slobbery dogs needing extra care at the end of their lives?" The characters in the story seem authentic, described in a kind of minimalist way from a child's eye, expressing a desire to understand their uniqueness. When her friend Carlos is chastised by his dad, she thinks, "At that moment he grew a little more, confirming my theory that that was how things went, in bursts, in spasms and not in arithmetic continuity. All of the metaphors for growth -- the steps on a ladder, a road with curves here and there -- were sheer nonsense. It all really happened in fits and starts, like when I was on the plane going to the United States and at some point they told us to fasten our seatbelts because we were going to hit some turbulence, and suddenly that aerial pachyderm which, according to Americans, had been invented by the Wright brothers started to shake in the middle of the sky. It shook as if there were pothold asphalt beneath it, like on certain stretches of the highway between Rio de Janeiro and Barra do Jucu. "In the blink of an eye... suddenly you are older. Depending on the turbulence, maybe it is possible to go to bed at the age of forty and wake up sixty." This book has it kind of turbulent, poetic rhythm, moving in fits and starts, describing the young girl's growth. I enjoyed every moment of it.
Also, I was surprised it was translated. The translation was good; it flowed well in English.

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