Though she grew up in Chile, Tina hasn't been there, or seen her father who still lives there, since the rest of her family left eight years ago and she has no desire to go back. But her mother is getting remarried and her father has insisted that she spend the entire summer in Santiago with him. Tina had hoped for a glimpse of her old Papa, the fun loving, soccer-playing goofball he was before he was jailed as a political prisoner of the Pinochet regime and his outlook became darker. Unfortunately, between his political activism and heavy drinking, Papa can barely find a moment to spend with her. Luckily, she meets mysterious, exciting Frankie who shows her the city from the back of his motorcycle. Can he really be the prince he seems to be or is this new love interest simply too good to be true?
Why It's Worth Reading:
Not to be repetitive, but man, I love it when a book that really entertains me also teaches me something new. Despite feeling like a pretty well-educated and curious person, I admit to knowing practically nothing about Chile or its history. Surviving Santiago painted a crisp picture of the city and its surrounding areas, as well as of the Chilean people and culture. Most prominently, it shed a light on the Pinochet regime and the years of political unrest that Chile suffered through in the 1970s and 1980s. To see Tina's father struggling with his passion for his country and people but his extreme distrust of the political system in place made the history real for me. That's my favorite thing about historical fiction. Isolated, removed (from my life) events from the past become palpable moments in time when I see them through the eyes of a person, real or imagined. It's always been that way for me. If you feel the same way, grab this book. I found it captivating.
Publisher: Running Press
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Source: School Library Connection magazine - I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for my review. My complete review can be found in a future edition of SLC magazine.
Awards: 3 great reviews, 1 of them starred
Do We Own a Copy?: Yes!