From Library Journal
In his third book in a trilogy about human rights issues during the 1976 civil war in Argentina, the author combines pathos with irresistible suspense. Readers experience very personally the cruel deprivation of the heroic grandmother, Delores, whose children and grandchildren were either murdered or have disappeared. However, the army officer responsible for the crimes has survived, even flourished, living affluently with his own family. The discoveries Dolores makes regarding the whereabouts of two of her grandchildren result in a gripping and satisfying climax. An Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award winner (for Imagining Argentina, 1987), Thornton has written a refreshing and unexpectedly hopeful novel of loss and recovery. Although the latest entry in a series, it has the impact to stand alone as a beautifully written and arresting story.?Margaret A. Smith, Grace A. Dow Memorial Lib., Midland, Mich.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
The rousing, tearjerking last of a trilogy (Imagining Argentina, 1987; Naming the Spirits, 1995) involving Argentine psychic Carlos Rueda. Though only bit players here, Rueda and his daughter Teresa appear among many eerie, magical-realist touches in this richly, evocatively told, blood-is-thicker-than-blood melodrama. As the proud and fatuous Argentine General Rodolfo Guzm n attends the christening of his grandson, hoping that the future generation will benefit from the horrors he's committed, Dolores Masson, a grandmother, still mourns the loss of her family in Buenos Aires' Plaza de Mayo, especially her two grandsons, then infants, who were among the desaparecidos--the unknown millions abducted, tortured, and murdered by the country's now-deposed military junta. Refusing to give up hope, Masson visits Rueda and Teresa and is told that the boys, now teenagers, are alive and well in the remote fishing village of Mar Vista. Masson immediately departs for Mar Vista, hoping to bring the boys back home but failing to consider how the intervening years may have affected them. Indeed, Manfredo and Tom s have no memory of their real parents, or even of their former names. To make matters more complicated, General Guzm n, possibly implicated in yet another revelation of political atrocities committed while the military was in power, gave the boys to their foster parents, Eduardo and Biatrix Ponce, who once tended a killing field for him. Causing more emotional harm than good, Masson, with her knowledge of the boys' birthmarks, gets custody while the two undergo genetic testing. The general, fearing exposure of darker deeds, tries to sabotage the tests, setting off a series of suspenseful, grandly tragic plot twists ultimately leading to suicide, murder, and a rain of lamentation. For all its operatic pomp, Thornton's vision of beyond-the-grave revenge and retribution comes off as heartwrenchingly sincere. A simmering, passionately satisfying, character-driven finale. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.