Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Ocean by Cecilia Araneda

Title:  The Ocean
Author:  Cecilia Araneda
Published:  December 11th 2012 by FriesenPress
Length:  248pgs
Format:  paperback
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Shelf:  giveaways
Rating:  ★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Ocean follows the lives of three women through the growing modernization and political turmoil of Chile during the latter half of the 20th century, to their exile on the other side of the world in wintery, land-locked Winnipeg. These three women - Maria Soledad, Consuelo and Pilar - each live in different eras, yet are all confronted with changed personal and public histories that have a profound effect on their lives. Maria Soledad struggles with the restrictions placed on her because she is a woman; Consuelo fails to understand the dire and dangerous political climate she is immersed within; and Pilar is trapped in a body that she cannot fully control. The only one constant in their lives is the enduring presence of the ocean.

My Review:

This novel definitely puts things in perspective for the reader. Araneda tells an emotionally gripping tale of three women while also maintaining an accurate social and historical context. Everything weaves together so seamlessly that you find yourself drawn to Chile and Winnipeg. I could easily picture the locale that I’ve never actually seen. Even though the writing style itself becomes a bit dry at times I found myself intrigued and coming back due to the vividly realistic images that this author creates. This author does pack a great deal into this novel, but the timeline itself remains fairly easy to follow.

The characters in this novel are developed well enough to carry the story forward. That said, I don’t feel that I got to know any of them very well. They are developed only in the ways that directly relate to the story which means at times the characters seem slightly flat. This wasn’t to the extent that it detracted from the story, however further development would have added to it a great deal.

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