Synopses & Reviews
An eleven-year-oldand#8217;s world is upended by political turmoil in this searing novel from an award-winning poet, based on true events in Chile.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Celeste Marconi is a dreamer. She lives peacefully among friends and neighbors and family in the idyllic town of Valparaiso, Chileand#8212;until the time comes when even Celeste, with her head in the clouds, canand#8217;t deny the political unrest that is sweeping through the country. Warships are spotted in the harbor and schoolmates disappear from class without a word. Celeste doesnand#8217;t quite know what is happening, but one thing is clear: no one is safe, not anymore.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;The country has been taken over by a government that declares artists, protestors, and anyone who helps the needy to be considered and#8220;subversiveand#8221; and dangerous to Chileand#8217;s future. So Celesteand#8217;s parentsand#8212;her educated, generous, kind parentsand#8212;must go into hiding before they, too, and#8220;disappear.and#8221; To protect their daughter, they send her to America.andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;As Celeste adapts to her new life in Maine, she never stops dreaming of Chile. But even after democracy is restored to her home country, questions remain: Will her parents reemerge from hiding? Will she ever be truly safe again?andlt;BRandgt; andlt;BRandgt;Accented with interior artwork, steeped in the history of Pinochetand#8217;s catastrophic takeover of Chile, and based on many true events, this multicultural ode to the power of revolution, words, and love is both indelibly brave and heartwrenchingly graceful.
"AgosÃn's rich, expansive novel, based on true events in Chile during the 1970s, covers three turbulent years in Celeste Marconi's life. Sixth-grader Celeste, surrounded by a loving family and lively friends, basks in the natural beauty of coastal ValparaÃso, befriending pelicans, dreaming, and writing on her rooftop, which overlooks the harbor. Her idyllic life abruptly ends when a dictatorship takes over Chile, killing the Socialist president and removing his supporters people like Celeste's idealistic parents, doctors who run a clinic for the poor. Classmates begin to disappear, her parents go into hiding, and Celeste is sent to a small Maine town to live with her aunt, where she struggles with homesickness, anxiety about her parents, learning English, and making friends. As Celeste slowly comes to feel comfortable in Maine, AgosÃn explores the relentless mixed emotions of having two homes especially well. 'It's like I have one foot on Juliette Cove and the other in Butterfly Hill,' thinks Celeste. The book's length and broad scope may intimidate some readers, but the realistically bittersweet ending is rewarding. Art not seen by PW. Ages 10 14. Author's agent: Jennifer Lyons, Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Marjorie Agosandiacute;n is the Pura Belprandeacute; Award-winning author of andlt;iandgt;I Lived on Butterfly Hillandlt;/iandgt;. She was raised in Chile by Jewish parents. Her family moved to the United States to escape the horrors of the Pinochet takeover of their country. Coming from a South American country and being Jewish, Agosandiacute;nandrsquo;s writings demonstrate a unique blending of these cultures. She has received the Letras de Oro Prize for her poetry, and her writings about, and humanitarian work for, women in Chile have been the focus of feature articles in andlt;iandgt;The New York Timesandlt;/iandgt;, andlt;iandgt;The Christian Science Monitorandlt;/iandgt;, and andlt;iandgt;Ms. Magazineandlt;/iandgt;. She has also won the Latino Literature Prize for her poetry. She is a Spanish professor at Wellesley College.Lee White lives with his wife and their three crazy cats in Portland, Oregon, and you can visit him online at LeeWhiteIllustration.com.