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The Tale of the Dispossessed - A Review


"How can I tell him that he will never find her, after he has been searching for her all his life?"

These are the opening lines of the book by Laura Restrepo. And I admit, these are the only lines I had to read to convince myself to buy it.

The book tells a story of a nameless female narrator who lives in a war torn refugee center and a man who is in futile quest for the woman he has known long ago. It is a love triangle of sorts because the man cannot let go of his memories of the woman from his past while dealing with a possibility of a new love.

There are so many things in this book that appeals to me. So many things i have thought of myself and wanted to write about. Its like someone else went into my thoughts and wrote about it.

" I don't believe in so-called love at first sight, at least that which is understood as an unmistakable intuition signaling beforehand that something will soon come to bind you: that sudden bolt that forces you to hunch your shoulders and squint your eye to protect you from being overtaken by something earth-shattering, which for some reason has more to do with your future than with your present."

I nod in agreement while telling myself that the author possessed unmistakable wisdom and a remarkable way with words. How can she put into words so eleoquently what I have realized just now? As if she is steering my thoughts in the very direction I always wanted it to go? She describes things so vividly that makes you believe that she is speaking to you and that you are there witnessing it all happen.

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I have always believed that sad stories are the most believable because they miror reality at its most basic level. Where emotions are true and raw, and sadness so tangible that we share each others agony.

The story is short and does not give a definite ending. But the beauty in this is that we are left to envision its ending on our own. I love endings like this because it forces us to own the story and incorporate our own version to it. Whether we do so in pain, grief or happiness will depend on how much we trust our future and believe in our faith.

"The Tale of the Dispossessed" by Laura Restrepo (Bilingual English/Spanish Edition)

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