No One Said a Word by Paula Varsavsky
translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
by: Ida D. McGhee

Section: Adult Book Reviews

March 2013

Ida D. McGhee is a retired librarian from Hartford (CT) Public Library. Ida is also Reformista from the Northeast Chapter.

Originally published in hardcover by Ontario Review Press (2000) this is an evocative story of a dissonance daughter, Luz Goldman, aperonista, who is also the narrator.  Luz is the oldest child of an Argentina university professor and she is torn between living with her divorce parents, her mother in Buenos Aires and her father, and his new wife in New York.  Luz’s forbidden romance with a drug addicted lover/boyfriend does not help her as she struggles with her transition of coming of age.

The story unravels around a fact based setting, the Argentina war and its military dictatorship which Luz and her well to do friends do not seem to be aware of.  Readers will immerse themselves into the lives of these captivating characters and the complicated family dynamics that accompany them.   One may need patience going back and forth between the two continents although this melodramatic story gives the reader a sense of traditional life in Argentina during the “Dirty Wars”.

Varsavsky lures readers in with plots moving back and forth from Luz and father to Luz and lovers to Luz and mother.  Sometimes slow reading, this compassionate, engaging, and intimae story with astonishing challenges, meticulously unfolds with a cast of characters.  It becomes clear that Luz longs for love.  Love from her father, boyfriend and later Juan, an older professor.  Despite the political situations and undertones, the story leads readers through Luz’s journey to reconnect with her father and an unfathomable horrific ending.

Paula Varsavsky is an Argentine journalist, a short story writer, and the author of Nadie alzaba la voz and El resto de su vida.  Her work has been published in several journals and anthologies.  Varsavsky is currently working on her third novel.

No One Said a Word by Paula Varsavsky. Translation by Anne McLean. San Antonio, Texas: Wings Press; Chicago, Illinois. Distributed to the trade by Independent Publishers Group, 2012. 132p. ISBN: 9781609402693 Paperback $14.95 Kindle Edition

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