Friday, January 22, 2010

In the Name of Salome by Julia Alvarez (2000)

A fascinating novel that explores the history of Dominican Republic poetess Salome Urena through the eyes of her daughter Camila, who was born only three years before her early death at the age of 47. Salome lived and wrote during an extraordinarily tumultuous political time that saw 30 different governments during her lifetime. She wrote passionately patriotic poetry that changed the course of her nations history. In the shadow of this extraordinary woman's life, is the story of her shy daughter Camila, who lives most of her life in exile, and is haunted by her mother's poetry.

This novel would make for excellent discussion as it explores an unfamiliar piece of history and delves into so many universal themes: home; freedom; faith; patriotism; mother-daughter relationships; the bonds of family; the revolutionary power of literature; the neccessity education; grieving; self-discovery.

Highly readable and engaging: Recommended!

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