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Novel set in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (feel the beat of the country)

27th April 2014

Invisibles by Ed Siegle, a novel set in Rio de Janeiro.

IMG_1397Joel is a young dentist, now living in Brighton. He lost his father in traumatic circumstances in his younger years, when the family lived in Rio. And this is the story of his personal quest to discover whether his father is actually still alive or not. It is a poignant account of longing, loss and hope. It forms a strong central narrative, as Joel abandons his life in England after he believes he sees his Father as a bystander on a TV news clip about a hijacked bus (based on a real event on 12th June 2000). He goes to Rio and stays with his friend Liam, who has an apartment set back from the wonderful beaches of the city.

This novel captures the heartbeat and feel of Brazil – the author uses Portuguese words, and although the reader may not know the meaning, the Brazilian experience is superbly brought to life through the phrases and imagery – as well as the music, the bars, the scenery, the food and the reverberating pulse are all evocatively described. This truly is a way to delve into the country for the price of a book.

The elements that perhaps didn’t work so well for me were the stories of mum Jackie (and ‘ex’ girlfriend Debbie) left at home in Brighton, and of Nelson & Co, the people in Brazil who help Joel to trace the history of his father’s life. Each feels like a bit of an ephemeral story that hovers around the edges – somehow they should feel more integral than they do – and in some way they detract from the powerful, central narrative of this young man searching for the truth behind his father’s disappearance. There could have been so much more flesh on these particular bones.

As for the cover, what a joy. One glance and it hooks you in with the design and colour and you just know where this book going to be set and the kind of vivid storyline that awaits you. Vibrancy and colour are the keywords! Really eye-catching, a credit to the designer.

This book is a good read if you are heading to Brazil, as it will capture the essence and beat of the country. And football even gets a bit of a look-in, so it is a perfect choice for those who hope to be engrossed in the World Cup in the Summer 2014! You heard it here first!

Tina for the TripFiction Team

You can follow the author Ed Siegle on Twitter and we would love to see you on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – and we can occasionally be found lurking on Instagram.


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