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Eartheater: A Novel Hardcover – November 17, 2020
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"In Reyes' hands, this coming-of-age novel flowers into a meditation on death, and the earth all children will eat in the end." -- New York Observer
“A powerful story whose narrator wields brutally honest observations on the intersections of class, poverty, and gender. Reyes’ debut is a strong addition to the growing body of Latin American crime fiction in the U.S. market. A stirring genre blend of fantasy and crime fiction that combines graceful prose and magic realism.” -- Booklist (starred review)
“One of the most outstanding Latin American short novels of the year.” -- New York Times
“In a voice that is terse, blunt, and biting, the narrator reckons with the impact of her visions on her health and relationships, as she witnesses more and more the ways fear and violence shape the experiences of the women in her community. Compelling and visceral, Reyes’ debut combines mystery and coming-of-age to evoke the stories of the victims of femicide.” -- Kirkus Reviews
“Dolores Reyes’s harsh and sensitive lyricism explodes in your hands.” -- Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, author of The Adventures of China Iron
“A raw and vital literary debut, Eartheater takes an unwavering and visceral look at systems of power through the perspective of a young woman caught in the crosshairs.” -- Shelf Awareness
"With its own shining light and singular voice, Eartheater follows in the footsteps of such essential authors as Juan Rulfo and Sara Gallardo.” -- Selva Almada, author of The Wind That Lays Waste
“Reyes succeeds in making the feisty Eartheater and her visions both persuasive and affecting.” -- Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Dolores Reyes was born in Buenos Aires in 1978. She is a teacher, feminist, activist, and the mother of seven children. She studied classical literature at the University of Buenos Aires. Eartheater is her first novel.
- Publisher : HarperVia (November 17, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062987739
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062987730
- Item Weight : 11.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.81 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #327,873 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book started out well, and I enjoyed the quick, some may even say chaotic, style of writing. I felt that it worked well with the 15 year old’s life. She never knew if there would be enough money, if violence would happen to her, or if those she loved would stay, so since her life is so chaotic, it makes sense that her story would be too.
I think the book could have been a lot stronger if Reyes had been able to incorporate more back story into the history of Eartheaters. Her protagonist may not have any knowledge of it, but to put in a character who did or somehow incorporate the information would have made the story a lot more interesting to me.
And once she started spending time with the police office I was happy to see that she had a sense of calm in her life and that he didn’t fear her. But there were a couple of sex scenes that felt like they were just added in to make the story more visceral or raw or something. They just completely felt out of place. Then there’s the end. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and then a character pops up and then it’s over.
I feel like Eartheater has a lot of potential, but needs to be edited a few more times to reach it.
The unnamed, first-person narrator is a young woman living in a barrio in Argentina. After her mother’s violent death, she feels a compulsion to eat dirt and then has visions of what happened to her mother. Abandoned by her father and aunt, she and her brother Walter, live alone. She stops going to school; her days are filled with violent video games.
Word has gotten out that she is a “seer” and people start to come to her to find their lost loved ones via eating dirt. A police officer named, Ezequiel arrives to ask her to find his cousin, Maria, and this time the vision shows that she is alive but captive. Will our Earth-Eater be able to find Maria in time to save her?
This is a story simply but boldly told. Well done, Ms. Reyes
*translated from Spanish*
Eartheater is a bizarre novel thats sensitive and compulsive. The unnamed narrator is our protagonist who feels compelled to eat dirt after her mother dies. From that act, she “sees” the truth behind her mother’s death. Yes, she gets visions after eating the dirt, Earth. She is the Eartheater. Abandoned by her father, she lives with her aunt and her brother Walter. Word gets out and people visit her with jars of dirt looking for answers.
Ezekiel, a police officer is looking for his sister Maria. She is alive and well in Eartheater’s visions, but the mystery slowly unveils. I’m still not sure how I completely feel about the novel and characters, but its a captivating story. I wish the author included the history behind these Eartheaters.
Thank you Netgalley & HarperVia for the arc in exchange for an honest opinion.