When her mother dies, thriteen-year-old Vanja is left with no family and no sense of who she is, where she belongs and what she should do. Determined to find her biological father, she decides to leave the volleyballs, empada vendors and crow-blue shells of Copacabana Beach behind, to live in Colorado with her stepfather, a former guerrilla notorious for his violent past. Living quietly with the laconic Fernando, two displaced Brazilians in exile, Vanja makes friends at school, discovers the public library, and gradually pieces together new parts of her mother's story.This book was a very interesting read. It is very much a coming-of-age tale but it is set against a tense and highly charged political backdrop.
Together, she and Fernando embark on a journey to find her biological father, an American from Alburquerquw, taking them across the New Mexico desert from one motel to the next, tracing her mothers footsteps and encountering vestiges of her life and friendships that remain. Lisboa deposits a tapestry of transient lives lived between borders, and the ties that bind people across nations. Rendered in lyrical and passionate prose, Crow Blue is a sweeping literary road trip through Brazil and America, and through decades of family and political history.
Vanja goes to live with her step-father in Colorado when her mother dies. Her step0father had to leave Brazil as he was an Araguala guerrilla with a frightening reputation. She goes to live with him in order to find her biological father, making their relationship highly complex from the very beginning.
I did find it difficult to get into this book in parts but in the main I enjoyed Adriana Lisboa's book. It is a story that has been done over and over again but the author has made it her own with the cultural and political aspects. It was very interesting to see how both Vanja and her step-father are treated as foreigners and the impact this has on their lives.
I did really like Vanja and her story is particularly interesting, I think this book will cross easily between YA and adult audiences.
Dot Scribbles Rating: 3.75/5