Magical Realism for Non-Believers: NetGalley Book Review

I received a digital ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of Magical Realism for Non-Believers through NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you University of Minnesota Press for choosing me.

Magical Realism for Non-Believers Synopsis

A young woman from Minnesota searches out the Colombian father she’s never known in this powerful exploration of what family really means

He loved Colombia too much to leave it. The explanation from her Minnesotan mother was enough to satisfy a child’s curiosity about her missing father. But at twenty-one, Anika Fajardo wanted more. She wanted to know her father better and to know what kind of country could have such a hold on him. And so, in 1995, Fajardo boarded a plane and flew to Colombia to discover a birthplace that was foreign to her and a father who was a stranger. There she learns that sometimes, no matter how many pieces you find, fitting together a family history isn’t easy.

With her tentative entry into her father’s world, Fajardo steps on a path that will take her in surprising directions, toward unsuspected secrets about her family and herself. Set against the changing backdrops of Colombia and the American Midwest, her journey carries her back to the 1970s and the beginnings of her parents’ broken marriage, and forward to the present day, where the magic and reality of love and heartache—and her own experience as a parent—await her. The way is strewn with obstacles, physical and metaphysical—from the perils encountered on a mountain road in Colombia to the death of a loved one to the birth of her own child—but the toughest to negotiate are the shifting place of memory and truth while coming to understand her place in her family and in the world.

Vivid and heartfelt in the telling, Fajardo’s story is powerfully compelling in its bridging of time and place and in its moving depiction of self-transformation. Family, she comes to find, is where you find it and what you make of it.

Magical Realism for Non-Believers Book Details

Author: Anika Fajardo

Publication Date: 16th April 2019

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press

Genre: Family, Memoir, Multi-Cultural

My Review

Interesting read about a woman who meets her father 20 years after her mother moved them away from him. She explores what it was like to grow up in a single parent as half-Columbian and meeting her father and being introduced to Columbian culture and trying to improve her Spanish.

She discovers years later that she has a brother who was born just a couple of weeks before she was. They navigate their family as adults and she has to re-learn the behaviours she developed thinking that she was an only child.

Overall, an interesting read but it didn’t stand out.

Recommendation & Where to Find It

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I am a 22 year old teacher from the UK who is currently travelling around Australia on a Working Holiday Visa year.

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