rating: 4 of 5 stars
I went into this book thinking it was a just a novel (maybe I should read the jackets more often). The good thing was that it read like a novel at first… which I think speaks well for a travelogue of any kind.
Reading this as a piece of non-fiction turned my fragile little world upside down though.
Let me backtrack to say that once when I was having a conversation with a Brazilian friend of mine I let a bias come out of my mouth that I was not sure why it even existed or even where it came from. This has crossed my mind a few times over the years. This book explained it in a way. As someone who grew up in Latin America I was often exposed to Brazilians… and it seemed like most were in exile of sorts… since I was so young I never understood that it was most likely that they were escaping a political government/regime. I suppose my attitude never grew out of that 10 year old girls assumptions and I carried Brazil around in the “do not ever visit” list in my head. I learned a lot from this book… chiefly that the Brazilian government I somewhat disdained with a young expat mind was in truth not all that different from the ones I had lived in to that point in my life.
The book is written fairly well, I did skim some parts as there was a tendency to go on and on in parts, but those were few and far between. I enjoyed it and re-learned a lot about Brazil and its history.