My Thoughts: To be blunt, I loved it. This book has everything that I'd been looking for. First off, I have always loved historical fiction. This view of post WWI Brazil is one I had never seen before. Of course it's fiction so events are condensed and simplified (the author makes a specific point to stress this) but seeing the effects of industrialization, the Great Depression, and then the beginning hints of WWII tensions from a perspective that is not American or European was so interesting. I highly recommend looking for this unique perspective.
Beside the historical setting, this book touches on lots of great topics. Are you a result of where you are from? Are anyone's dreams more worthy of pursuing than others'? To what extent do your decisions affect other people? Is it more important to survive or be yourself? What happens to an old way of thinking when another way becomes popular? What impact does positive or negative activism have on society? What is a better motivator, fear, love, or duty? The book club discussion for this was right after Corinne was born, and I'm really sad that I missed it!
Initially I was annoyed with the writing style because it's one of those books that starts at the end and then jumps back to the beginning. I tend to think this is a cheap way to hook a reader that often is just out of context with the majority of what you read, especially with books like this that cover multiple decades of time. The saving grace of this book was that there was just the one chapter out of order at the very beginning. Even though the story is told from the perspective of two sisters, the story follows chronologically allowing the reader to witness the character development as it occurs.
The more I think about this book, the more I enjoy it. It's one I would definitely recommend and might be a new favorite.
Total review: 5 of 5 stars.