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In Your Hands (paper back), Inês Pedrosa. ISBN 978-1503901933, Amazon Crossing, 2018. 224 pp
An internationally acclaimed, award-winning novel spanning three generations of women united in their struggle for independence and fulfillment against oppression.
Told from three different perspectives, this sweeping saga begins in 1935 Portugal, in the grip of Salazar’s authoritarian regime, where upper-class Jenny enters into an uncommon marriage with the beguiling António. Keeping up appearances, they host salons for the political and cultural elite. In private, Jenny, António, and his lover, Pedro, share a guarded triangle, build a profound relationship, and together raise a daughter born under the auspices of rebellion.
Thirty years later, their daughter, Camila, a photojournalist who has captured the revolutionary fervor and tragic loss of her family—and country—reminisces about a long-lost love in Southeast Africa. This memory shapes the future of her daughter, Natália, a successful architect, who begins an impassioned quest of her own. As she navigates Portugal’s complex past, Natália will discover herself in the two women whose mysteries and intimate intrigues have come to define her.
Through revealing journals, snapshots of a turbulent era, and private letters, the lives of three generations of women unfold, embracing all that has separated them and all that binds them—their strength, their secrets, and their search for love through the currents of change.
A Liz & Lisa Best Book of the Month
“This novel by a prizewinning Portuguese journalist intertwines the political and the personal through its incantatory prose…Absorbing in its history, as well as in its family dynamics.” —The New York Times Book Review
“This passionate, resonant novel is now in English for the first time.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“In Your Hands is another work in the fine tradition of European literature. Told from a definite feminist perspective it focuses on the inner feelings of its principal characters, each a finely drawn and vital woman as they navigate the turbulent times of twentieth-century Portugal.” —Writers & Readers Magazine
“Pedrosa’s extraordinary prose is colorful, thought-provoking, and emotionally rich. This is a novel that rewards the reader on every page with the thrill of great storytelling and the satisfaction of deeply etched characters whose lives are indelibly marked by the legacy of a forsaken love.” —Words Without Borders
“Originally published in 1997, this masterful novel narrates the story of three generations of women struggling to maintain their identities and sense of purpose in a confusing world. Shocking for its content at the time, the story traces the lives of a family beginning in 1935 Portugal, where the country is in the grip of Prime Minister Salazar’s authoritarian regime.” —Advocate
“Immensely rewarding and lyrically philosophical, In Your Hands won Portugal’s top literary prize upon its 1997 release; more than two decades later, the transcendent prose and timeless themes of love and tolerance are as resonant as ever.” —World Literature Today
“Portugal through a woman’s voice is Amália Rodrigues with her divinely nostalgic fados; and now it’s likewise Inês Pedrosa in this, her powerfully evocative, but no less heartrending novel In Your Hands.” —Laura Restrepo, author of Delirium and Hot Sur
“This beautiful philosophical novel—lyrical, passionate, alert to the ways in which history shapes us—is also a profound meditation on love. Pedrosa writes about the romance between an unconventional woman and her wayward husband, about two men who loved each other at a time when such love was taboo, and about the love that connects three generations of Portuguese women who manage to flourish as human beings despite the horrors of dictatorship and Portugal’s colonial legacy. Inês Pedrosa is a great novelist in the tradition of the Brontës, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and another singular writer who also writes in Portuguese — Clarice Lispector. In Your Hands is filled with wisdom and beauty like few novels I know.” —Jaime Manrique, author of Latin Moon in Manhattan and Cervantes Street