Read Crow Blue by Adriana Lisboa Alison Entrekin Online


I was thirteen. Being thirteen is like being in the middle of nowhere. Which was accentuated by the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere. In a house that wasn’t mine. in a city that wasn’t mine, in a country that wasn’t mine, with a one-man family that, in spite of the intersections and intentions (all very good), wasn’t mine.When her mother dies, thirteen-year-old VanI was thirteen. Being thirteen is like being in the middle of nowhere. Which was accentuated by the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere. In a house that wasn’t mine. in a city that wasn’t mine, in a country that wasn’t mine, with a one-man family that, in spite of the intersections and intentions (all very good), wasn’t mine.When her mother dies, thirteen-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 to fill the void that has so suddenly appeared in her life, Vanja decides to leave Rio de Janeiro to live in Colorado with her stepfather, a former guerrilla notorious for his violent past. From there she goes in search of her biological father, tracing her mother’s footsteps and gradually discovering the truth about herself.Rendered in lyrical and passionate prose, Crow Blue is a literary road trip through Brazil and America, and through dark decades of family and political history....

Title : Crow Blue
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781408838303
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Crow Blue Reviews

  • Barbara
    2019-03-10 05:40

    Vanja aged 13 is living with her mother in Rio de Janeiro when her mother dies. Her aunt sends her to the Denver, Colorado suburbs to live with her stepfather, Fernando. Fernando works in the Denver Public Library as a security guard, and cleans houses on the side. He lives a very contained, friendless life. Vanja finds life in Colorado very strange - a dry climate, weather that ranges from hot to cold, and a natural environment that is very brown and gray compared with Brazil. Vanja's reaction to her new surroundings describe what many immigrants may feel in new and alien environments. The writer is a Brazilian who now lives in Colorado, thus the authenticity of Vanja's response. The book focuses on Vanja's search for her father, and Fernando's efforts to help her. Fernando's story is also woven throughout. In his youth he was a guerrilla with a radical group in the jungles of far northern Brazil. This history reveals the depths of Fernando that no one would suspect. The skill of this author in moving between stories, environments, and countries makes this a wonderful read. The language is gorgeous and often brilliant. I am going to look for more by this author.

  • Jolene
    2019-03-12 00:41

    **Thank you Bloomsbury and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review**1.5 StarsVanja is thirteen when her mother dies. She decides to leave Rio de Janeiro for the United States. She hopes her mother's ex-husband, Fernando (a man she has never met), can help her find her biological father. Once in Colorado, Vanja finds out Fernando was a resistance fighter years ago in Brazil. Blue Crow is the story of Vanja's present and Fernando's past.This could have been a wonderful book. It had strong, realistic characters and the world building left nothing to be desired. It was the story execution that failed. The writing is all over the place. A paragraph may start with Vanja and Fernando talking about everyday life, and finish with a scene from Fernando's Guerrilla past. All without any logical reason for it. Also, the two story lines didn't work well together. I think they both would have been great as their own stories, but not combined like they are here. Hearing Fernando's old life told through Vanja's voice just didn't feel right. It felt forced.Even with a talent for strong characters and world building skills, I don't think Lisboa is a author I'd seek out.

  • Luciana Vichino
    2019-03-15 05:22

    Primeiro livro da autora e fiquei curiosa para ler os demais. Gostei bastante. Texto ágil, que caminha bem entre o passado e o presente, fala da vida das pessoas, da história do Brasil e de diferenças culturais. Daquilo que se busca e do que encontrarmos mesmo sem buscar.Dá para ler em um único dia sem cansar. O texto traz tantos fatos, estórias e história de uma forma tão rápida e com comparações inteligente e engraças, mas esquece um pouco da emoção, que até se espera numa narrativa sobre uma menina de 12 que após perder a mãe, viaja para outro país em busca do pai.

  • Juliana
    2019-03-03 22:33

    4,5 stars. My review:

  • Kati Heng
    2019-03-16 03:32

    Vanja’s mother isn’t the type of woman who stays in one place. Once she decides to leave, she goes and goes and doesn’t look back. It’s not that she’s a gypsy, she’s no senseless wanderer traveling without direction; it’s just that when she gets tired of something, it’s over.She’s always been this way. She’ll move between Brazil, America, settling in a place for as long as she can. It’s the same with men. She loves them until she has to leave them, a switch that happens instantaneously. Fernando, for instance. They were married six years until it just…ended. She flew off so quickly, moving to America, meeting a man named Daniel and falling for him.It’s Daniel that gets her pregnant, fathering Vanja. But she never sees him again. It’s Fernando’s name written as the father on Vanja’s birth certificate.Which isn’t a big deal. At least until Vanja’s mother dies, leaving the 13-year-old girl alone, with a dad somewhere in America.Staying with Fernando, her father in name even though she had never met the man, Vanja plans to track down her biological dad from a new base in the United States. At least, that’s the reason she gives to us as the reader. In truth, Vanja carries on the life of her mother, leaving her home in Rio de Janeiro at the drop of a hat, easily casting aside her possessions and material weights.Fernando’s a mystery to her, but also, maybe the only man who truly knew her mother. A former guerilla fighter, the man is now living quietly in Colorado, working as a security guard and cleaner, keeping his profile low. Vanja doesn’t know much about his past – her mother told her so little about her husband – but over the course of the novel, his story (as well as much of her mother’s story) is revealed.Of course, it’s scary at first, showing up at the doorstep of a man to whom Vanja has no real claim. And it’s weird living in America, a country where you have to ask people if you may pet their dog before rubbing its tummy, where you have to be careful not to brush shoulders on the sidewalk. Vanja adopts quickly, though, thanks in no small part to the English her mother taught her as a child.Also brightening her time in the U.S. – the 9-year-old neighbor boy Carlos, a precocious little kid that is happy to carry on conversations with Vanja in Spanish, and eventually, step in as a sort of surrogate brother.The story starts off with a pseudo-orphan leaving home, coming to America just to track down the rest of her family. Quickly though, it’s evident she’s had a family all along, just waiting for her to discover them, and willing to help her discover her the truth about herself along the way.

  • Pam Giarrizzo
    2019-03-07 03:42

    I'm so happy to have discovered Adriana Lisboa and her wonderful book, Crow Blue.  The book’s main character, Vanja (short for Evangelina), is a thirteen-year-old girl who leaves her home in Rio de Janeiro when her mother dies, and moves to Lakewood, Colorado, to live with her mother’s ex-husband, Fernando. He and her mother divorced long before Vanja was born, but Fernando agrees to let Vanja live with him and help her find her father.Fernando was originally from Brazil too, where he was a Communist guerrilla fighting against the military dictatorship. While most of Crow Blue focuses on Vanja’s new life in the United States, there are flashbacks to the guerrilla days that Fernando left behind.In Colorado, Vanja befriends a nine-year-old neighbor boy, Carlos, whose family is from El Salvador. She helps him with his homework, and gives him a safe and happy place to spend his spare time. Carlos has lived in Colorado for as long as he can remember, but the concern that he and his family will be sent back to El Salvador because they “didn’t have papeles” is never far from his mind. Vanja and Fernando take Carlos with them on a week-long road trip to New Mexico, which deepens the bond among the three of them.Crow Blue is more than just a coming-of-age book. It’s a heartwarming story of how three exiles from other lives and other places can become a family of their own.

  • Jaybee
    2019-03-20 23:26

    I wanted to like this book. The prose is lyrical, but there were many points where I felt that it got in the way of the story. Or maybe the problem is that it isn't a plot driven book. The protagonist was intriguing in many ways, but something about her voice was so flat that she wasn't engaging. An additional minor point: I really couldn't care less about the fascination with Fernando's guerrilla past.

  • Elisabete Teixeira
    2019-03-27 04:30

    Continuo a gostar muito da forma como Adriana Lisboa escreve, das suas personagens 'reais' e com pensamentos que podiam ser nossos, assim como dos temas que aborda. Neste caso, a procura das origens e da identidade. No entanto, o meu pensamento deambulou enquanto lia, não me consegui concentrar na história, o que me leva a um 'it was ok'.

  • Nicole
    2019-03-23 23:36

    The synopsis of this book is somewhat misleading. Although the story follows Vanja, a great portion of it is about the communist guerrilla fighters from Brazil. The author has a rambling writing style that quickly became wearisome. I got very little out of this book.

  • Anton
    2019-03-19 23:48

    It's really hard for me to give this book a solid rating, and it might change. Crow Blue by Adriana Lisboa chronicles the life of a displaced thirteen year old; Vanja and her journey as she is coming to terms with her mother's death as well as being on a mission to find her biological father. She ends up staying with her stepdad, Fernando, a former guerrilla, who has a significant influence on the way this story is told, and that is where my problem lies with this book.*minor spoilers* (but no story is given away)The narration of the book switches between a first person perspective of Vanja and a seemingly omnipresent third person perspective who accounts history on the Araguaia Guerrilla War and a little bit on Fernando's part in it, but very little. I always dreaded the sections on the way, because its purpose was mostly to info-dump the reader with history and thus fill the pages, rather than actually give depth to the character of Fernando, which is, I think, the intended purpose of these passages. And so overall, the transition from Vanja's story to, basically, text out of a history textbook felt jarring, and slightly awkward; there was no established connection between Fernando's past in the war to Fernando's present and hence to Vanja. If the book was comprised of only Vanja's perspective I would have easily given this book a solid 4 stars, maybe a 5. I absolutely ADORED her as the novel's protagonist. Her outlook on life and growing up were so spot on, I would find myself nodding vigorously at her accurate observations of adults and empathizing with her concerns about growing up and how it happened. She was also very clever; her thoughts a conglomeration of -very- quotable prose and giggle-worthy sarcasm. And boy, little Carlos has me cracking up on multiple occasions. I don't know if I have ever read such an accurately written 9-1o year old (or however old he was). Fernando was likable as a character, but the aforementioned lack of connection to his war-ridden past had me frustrated. I thought the ending of book was appropriate given how realistic the book was supposed to be, and the author's ability to shift in between time-periods and thus give the reader a bigger outlook on the lives of the characters and what happens to them years later, but I think the synopsis on the back of the book is very misleading and makes one go into this book with expectations that will not necessarily be met. This book does not focus on the search for Vanja's father, let me just tell you that now if you are planning on reading this book. It is more of an exploration of family, culture, belonging, and what it means to grow up under unexpected circumstances. If one was to ignore the dull anecdotes about the Araguaia War throughout the book, then this would just be a coming of age story, and a beautiful one at that. (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Colorado, USA)

  • Sandra Danby
    2019-03-10 21:21

    This is a story of a teenage girl unravelling the mysteries of her identity. Vanja is 13, newly arrived in Colorado from Brazil, living with a man called Fernando about whom we know nothing. “I was 13. Being 13 is like being in the middle of nowhere. Which was accentuated by the fact that I was in the middle of nowhere.” Vanja’s mother dies and she leaves behind the ‘crow blue’ shells of Copacabana beach for the USA.Her voice grabbed me from the beginning and, although at times I was a little lost with the narrative drive of her story with lots of side roads telling Fernando’s history as a freedom fighter in Brazil, Vanja’s voice kept me reading. I wanted to know the answers to the questions she was chasing on her road trip from Colorado to New Mexico.She is on the cusp of womanhood and this gives her some nice observations of American society, words from the mouth of an innocent who is starting to see the world and people around her in a more adult way. “A woman passing my chair as she returned from the pool said I had a nice tan. When she smiled, her eyes disappeared into the folds of fat that covered her face. She looks like a feather pillow, I thought.” To Vanja, swimming pools in Colorado mean large bikinis and full-piece bathing suits; swimming pools at Copacabana, where she grew up, meant butt cheeks.The sections on guerrilla warfare left me cold, I’m afraid. I had no idea of the history of Brazil at this time, which probably would have helped me, and I didn’t identify with the characters and their confusing code names. These sections were an intrusion into Vanja’s story.As the road trip comes to a close and Vanja approaches her 14th birthday, she considers what it will mean to become an adult. “Fourteen was at least a nose in the adult world. And I had to unlearn all the codes I had learned to make way for others. Curiosity, for example: children had a gift for curiosity. Adults kept it chained up. In adults, curiosity shook paws, fetched balls and played dead.”Lisboa was named on Granta’s list of ‘Best of Young Brazilian Novelists’ last year, she has written numerous novels and won prizes. But her name is relatively unknown here. To be fair, this book is set in the USA and is as much a comment on American society as Brazilian. It reflects our modern multi-cultural world and is a hopeful tale about finding your place in the world, finding your identity, and making a home wherever you are.

  • Tony Mercer
    2019-03-05 00:35

    Beautifully written, Crow Blue is written by a young woman in search of her father in a foreign country while living with the former husband of her mother (but not her father) in a low-middle class neighborhood of Denver. Written years later when the main character is an adult, her views are poignant and stirring. Adriana Lisboa's prose is excellent and makes for a great journey into the mind of a child trying to understand her place in the world she finds herself in. She belongs to no one and is a foreigner everywhere she goes. But she finds solace in everyday objects like crows and sea shells hovering just below the surface of the ocean in a state of calm near the bustling Copacabana beach. The story really reverberated with me, the characters were brought to life, and the text was really enjoyable to read. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a thoughtful read.

  • Maureen Tumenas
    2019-03-17 21:51

    I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. This is the story of a 13 year old Brazilian girl, Vanja, who, after her mother dies, comes to Colorado to live with her stepfather, whom she had never met. There are two disparate threads in the book- the story of Vanja's search for her biological father and the back-story of her mother and Fernando's earlier lives. The novel seemed far too choppy. These two stories never gelled for me. I would have liked to see Fernando's story through other eyes- as it's own novel. Although the author did an excellent job portraying a 13 year old's vision of life and her voice, it simply did not work with the story of the guerrilla fighting in Brazil in the background.

  • Meg
    2019-03-10 03:42

    If this wasn't for my book club I wouldn't have finished it. I'm glad I did because there was a sweet story in there after all but it was painful to get to it. The story jumped all over the place from present to past to future and back again and the transitions were awkward at best and non-existent most of the time. Every time you thought you found the string of the story it would unravel. I'm glad I read this quickly so I didn't lost any of the strings - which all got tied together (at least loosely) in the end. I was disappointed that her meetings with her father weren't more in depth but I liked her relationship with her step father Fernando and Carlos was my favorite character.

  • Tijana
    2019-03-10 23:42

    Ovo je redak primer stvarno uspelog poetskog stila u romanu, poetskog, kažem, ne lirskog, jer je "Kao gavran crno" istovremeno brutalno realistična knjiga. Na prepričavanje i bez ulaženja u detalje, ovo bi moglo delovati kao holivudska priča o odrastanju devojčice koja posle majčine smrti u potrazi za ocem iz Brazila dolazi u Kolorado, ali uopšte to nije, evo, gledam u rečenicu i teško mi je da poverujem koliko promašuje sve ono što je bitno u knjizi: stil, jezik, autentične i neizmerno upečatljive likove, krajolik, ukrštanje lične i opšte istorije... ma sve. Ali pre svega neverovatno precizno, bogato, vrhunsko pripovedanje.

  • Jim Ringel
    2019-03-03 22:32

    When her mother dies, 13 yo Vanja moves from Rio de Janeiro to Denver, CO to live with her stepfather, a man she never met before, but whom she comes to know.Written with all the magic that 13 yo girls bring to understanding strange surroundings, Crow Blue is a kind-of Alice Behind the Looking Glass, filled with wonder and a girl's wonderment about the man her mother once loved and a country she doesn't understand. There is so much detail, so much historical perspective, and so much beauty in the narrator's words, this is a truly enchanting read.

  • Samantha
    2019-03-19 05:22

    "Newly teen Vanja is lost when her mother passes away. Left confused and uncertain, she decides to leave her home in Rio de Janeiro to stay with her mother's ex-husband in Colorado. With his help, her goal is to track down her biological father. During her search, the histories of the people around her unfold, and a bigger picture of politics and intersecting lives is presented." Full review at Fresh Fiction:

  • Kit Devon
    2019-03-09 00:26

    A refreshing read after some mediocre novels. While I enjoyed Vanja as the narrator, her wisdom struck me as unrealistic. She is a 13 year old girl. This story is about a teenager coming to grips with life in the USA - its people and social landscape. This part of the novel was very interesting.Vanja's quest for a father lacked the depth of other novels that I've read recently on this subject matter. Overall, an engaging read that falls short of great.

  • Naomi
    2019-02-24 02:45

    One of the problems with reading a lot of books on vacation is that I don't get around to writing my mini-reviews when the stories are still fresh. I chose this book because it was on some list of the women's world cup of literature, representing Brazil. And that feels about right because while there was a strong female protagonist (see Marta) and some flashy language (footwork) that got it some success, it ultimately was not a real winner. But actually, I liked most things about this book.

  • Beth Paschal
    2019-03-21 04:45

    I have never read anything by Adriana Lisboa but her writing seemed so familiar in my mind. I love the flourish in description in some sections and then sparseness in others. I was reminded of Rachel Kushner's Flamethrowers (perhaps thats the only other book I've read set partly in the Amazon). Quick read, interesting reflections on the different periods in each person's life. You only recognize them as different from the rest in hindsight.

  • Léa
    2019-03-09 22:30

    Roman découvert par hasard alors que je cherchais des autrices sud-américaines. Ce texte m'a énormément touché. L'esprit de Vanja, 13 ans, qui rassemble par petite touche le puzzle de son histoire, de sa nouvelle vie à construire, des plages de Copacabana au désert du Colorado, du mélange des langues et des cultures. Une belle réflexion sur la construction de soi, l'histoire du Brésil, l'identité..Adriana Lisboa, à retenir!

  • Olinda Gil
    2019-03-21 03:33

    A cura para uma ressaca de leitura muito longa. O livro é belíssimo!A narrativa é banal e não promete muito... Mas o modo como a autora a desenvolve é que nos prende. A linguagem é arte, as analepses e prolepses enriquecem o texto e exigem do leitor. Apesar da personagem principal ser adolescente, só aconselho está leitura a jovens se forem leitores experientes. Autora a seguir!

  • Zuzu Burford
    2019-03-08 03:21

    A wonderful, wonderful read. The characters were strong in a story of life and death, opportunities taken, opportunities missed. All this with memories of the Brazilian dictatorship during the '70s filtering through the story. 9/10 stars.

  • Zara Rahman
    2019-03-02 23:49

    Again part of my quest to read books by Brazilian authors, this was a fantastic book which covered some difficult issues from new perspectives. It's a coming-of-age novel which spans Brazil and the US, mixing together past and present very elegantly.

  • Jason Greeno
    2019-03-08 02:36

    Kinda hit and miss for me. Loved some sentences and passages. The interpersonal relationship stuff was great. Imagery was spot on at times. Other parts just got way too political for me. If you are more into international politics than I am, you'll surely enjoy it more than I did.

  • TRINE the Indecisive Reader
    2019-03-05 00:44

    I don't like this monologue style writing in gets to monotone for me. Don't feel like I get any highs and lows, any change in pace or anything at all!It's like reading a sentence with no punctuations...

  • Nanda
    2019-03-14 00:50

    “O mundo não me devia nada, mas isso não me impedia de seguir mal e porcamente um trajeto mal e porcamente traçado, que não tinha nenhuma importância para a vida de ninguém, e que poderia ter passado como de fato passou: à margem de tudo. Quase em branco.”

  • !Tæmbuŝu
    2019-03-02 21:33

    KOBOBOOKSReviewed by The Guardian (10 Nov 2013)

  • Miguel
    2019-02-23 21:44

    Opinião sobre o livro no seguinte link:

  • Carla Moreira
    2019-03-20 21:35

    The first book i ve read by Adriana Lisboa. Loved the story and it's writting. Very brasilian