2018 releases · fiction

Pablo Escobar, a Tree and an Unlikely Friendship: Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Image result for fruit of the drunken treeA serious case of “It’s not you, it’s me”. 

This book popped up on my Edelweiss homepage, and I really liked the sound of it. It’s set in Bogota, Colombia, and I have never read a book about Colombia. Moreover, this is set during Esobar’s terror reign over Colombia, and since I enjoy media about that time period, I was really interested to see a more human story, one that doesn’t revolve around Escobar himself.

This story follows Chula, a really sheltered, well-off young girl, and her new maid, Petrona as they strike up an unlikely friendship which leads them on a really dangerous path. While the premise really grabbed me, and the writing is really beautiful, this book didn’t really work for me. And it isn’t really the book’s fault.

writingI really loved the writing style. This is compared to Marquez and Allende and I can totally understand why. The author really knows how to construct a sentence and she really manages to create an atmosphere.

I also loved how she used the backdrop of the narco war to bring forth and accentuate a story about two girls, who are very different, but who manage to find a certain kinship. I truly think this is really well written and I can see it being loved by so many people.

It’s also really lovely to see an own voices novel about Bogota, and especially Bogota during the Escobar and narco wars era. I really appreciated that and I am so glad that this book got published and I hope more people read it.

howeverHowever, this isn’t the book for me. I personally have a really hard time with historical fiction. And while this is really recent history, for me it reads like a World War II novel. It’s slow and focuses on the day to day life in awful circumstances and I really can’t stand that kind of story telling. It’s something that does not work for me at all.

Moreover, this is told from the perspective of a 9 year old girl for the most part, and I can’t stand literary fiction from a child’s point of view. I can’t connect with the characters like that. I just don’t think that the writing style of literary fiction suits the voice of a child, if that makes sense.

I felt disconnected from this story at all times, and I couldn’t really find anything in this to latch on to. For me, a beautiful writing style just isn’t enough.

verdictThis really did not work for me, but I would still recommend this. I genuinely believe that if you like historical fiction, you would like this. It’s exceptionally well written, but just not written for me.

Final verdict: 2.5 stars

anthingtoadd2Let me know if you have heard about this one and whether or not it seems interesting to you. I’d love to know!


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7 thoughts on “Pablo Escobar, a Tree and an Unlikely Friendship: Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

  1. I feel you…I have a hard time reading literature from such a young point of view. That’s one thing I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel set during the Escobar and Narco wars, though it sounds tempting. I have a love/hate relationship with historical fiction. I’m VERY picky on it and it has to be a certain setting. Like you, I enjoy reading WWII setting novels. However, I also really enjoy the 1700’s and 1800’s if done right. I also like Viking history, Roman history, and the Medieval era…probably why I enjoy Fantasy novels so much ha-ha! Great review love! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I tried a couple of literary fiction novels with children as main protagonists and I could not get on with them. I love Middle Grade but there’s something about literary fiction that in my mind doesn’t suit a child narrative.

      There’s very little here about Pablo Escobar, it’s just the background to the story. Oh no, I hate World War II fiction, that’s my least favorite thing to read ever 😂 I do enjoy the Greek and Roman time periods though 😊 Thank you so much! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You liked the sound of it, or you liked the cover, haha!
    Sorry you didn’t love this one but I love the sound of it – I haven’t read anything set in Columbia either and the fact that this one is own voices makes it particularly appealing. It’s also a plus that I enjoy historical fiction, and it’s funny you mentioned it read like a WWII novel, as those are my fav kind of historical fiction!

    Liked by 1 person

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