A mesmerizing debut set against the backdrop of the devastating violence of 1990's Colombia about a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid who strike an unlikely friendship that threatens to undo them both. 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 inextricable coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras sheds light on the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.
Formatted Contents Note
The photograph The girl Petrona Mosquita Muerta The purgatory spot The dead girl's shoe Hola padre, hola madre Fruit of the drunken tree Galán! Galán! Galán! Pañuelitos blancos Safe routes El salado Devilwind When at dinner you have fire Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt God's thumb Grand shutting down of things Las Hermanas calle The hills Black and blue The dress and the veil Glass shards The dream The girl Petrona Void after void Rainfall The hour of the fog The mouth of the wolf Ghost house God's nail Two fingers The tribe whose power was forgetfulness The list A home for every departed thing.