Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Tree of Red Stars

Tessa Bridal is brilliant!! I thought The Tree of Red Stars was such a great read - And I'm not alone, Amazon readers gave it 4.5 stars!! How did I not find it until now when it was published in 1997!?! I was totally unaware that there were such hostilities going on in Latin America - Uruguay, to be exact. And call me strange, but I love to read books where I learn history (always my LEAST FAVORITE subject!). The story is about Magdalena, a teenager growing up in Uruguay. You learn about her life through flashbacks to her past - her childhood, growing up with her friends, her college years and then working for the USIA. She is swept up in the socialist fervor of the 1960's in Latin America and becomes part of the Tupamaro rebel group. There is a wonderful love story intertwined in this book - you can tell through much of the story that she loves Marco, but it is not until MUCH later in their lives that they can act on that love. I won't give it away, but it leads to a bittersweet ending. I enjoyed how the characters were not who they seemed to be - there is so much secrecy in being with the rebel group, who is and who isn't a member, etc. that you never know who you can trust or who is on which side. I loved also all of the cultural information on Latin America - their cultures and traditions really came alive. There are also so many ties to friendships, loyalty, etc. It just makes for a wonderful read (one which I think even teens would enjoy)!

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