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24
4.7 out of 5 stars
Dime quien soy / Tell Me Who I Am
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 19 July 2012
It's not a bad book, but still I found it very clunky at times.

The protagonist Amelia drifts through the novel, risking her life in ever more fanciful scenarios for a variety of men, motivated by who knows what.

Her political trajectory, from passionate communist to WWII spy to cold war warrior, is never fully explored or given any proper grounding.

She's passionate, beautiful, intelligent, fragile, strong, wilful, calculating, submissive, charming and so on. But these characteristics are hardly present in the person we meet on the page and never make a fully rounded character.

Added to that that the narrative device of having her great-grandson travelling the world investigating her story is dealt with in a most perfunctory manner. The poor Guillermo never achieves 3 dimensions and remains a mere plot device for the entire story.

On the plus side, the parts describing the civil war are great - vivid and immediate, and she writes a good yarn when the action starts.

I've read better!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 August 2012
Es el primer libro de Julia Navarro que leo y me ha encantado. Excepto por las erratas, que eran bastante frecuentes, y por algunos saltos de primera a tercera persona que no entendia muy bien...
Por lo demas, solo decir que me he acabado el libro a las 7am de hoy (no podia dormir y he cogido el libro directamente). He acabado llorando como una magdalena, muy emotivo y te mantiene intrigado durante todo el desarrollo de la historia.
Tengo otro libro a la espera de ser empezado pero aun tengo que digerir este...

PD: Disculpad mis faltas pero escribo desde un teclado ingles!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2013
I was looking for a good present for my wife's birthday, she is a true booklover, so I started reading Spanish books reviews online and I came across this masterpiece of Julia Navarro.
I don't usually present books that I haven't previously read but, in this case, the number of positive reviews was so huge that I decided to buy it anyway.
The novel is about a Spanish woman of the XX century, Amelia Garayoa, whose life is investigated by her great-grandson. He is a journalist and follows her trail through archives, history experts, and the ordinary (or extraordinary) people whose lives Amelia touched, during her astounding life around the world. Amelia, who is an emotionally complex character, witnesses and even is involved in many of the 20th century's most significant events at first hand.
I was very proud of my choice when I noticed that my wife wasn't able to put it down. She finished the book in only two weeks! After reading the book myself I can guarantee that it's really worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 23 March 2014
Really enjoyed this story.Although the protagonist was not really credible, the events definitely were. Julia Navarro takes us from pre war Spain, through WW 2, in Germany, Poland,Russia , and post war East Germany...The story was compelling and the review and interconnectedness of history from the 1930's to the 1970's make for a very good read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2011
He leido todos los libros de Julia Navarro y siempre he estado atenta al proximo libro. Sin duda alguna cada libro que saca es mejor que el anterior y Dime Quien Soy no es la excepcion. Es para mi el mejor libro que he leido, cuando lo terminas te deja una sensacion de vacio porque ya se termino, que solo los buenos libros te dejan.
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on 23 May 2013
It took me six weeks to read this book. I read for at least 45 minutes a day, more at the weekends and holidays. I am a fast reader. An average-length Dickens' novel will take me two weeks at this rate. So full marks for this one for keeping me engaged all of the time. But gosh, it must be a hefty volume in hard copy. The sort that makes your wrist ache, particularly near the beginning and the end. Unfortunately I can't find a translation of this though several of Julia Navarro's works have been translated into English.
It is the story of Amelia Garoya, reconstructed by her great-grandson who is a journalist. So, we have the story of her life and the story of how he pieces together that life. It is exciting form beginning to end as she takes part in almost every drama of the 20th century: Spanish Civil War, the early days of Communist Russia, World War II, the Cold War and the falling of the Berlin wall. Alongside that she has her own personal journey: she loses her husband and child though her own actions but creates a compensation for this.
I never wanted to put this down but of course I had to: my own writing, my day job and the need to sleep and eat intervened. I was disappointed when I had finished. It's often hard leaving characters that you have come to know. It was particularly difficult in this case.
This was yet another of those extraordinary books that took me out of my editing head. There are very few of these, even though I do enjoy others where that nagging voice remains. I'll always give an author five stars if they manage this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 May 2014
Talks about many interesting facts about the Spanish civil war and the world war and the rise in Nazism. A story of a very strong and independent woman. A little bit like an Ian Fleming's Bond creation and a dash of Dickens. There are episodes so its like stories within a story all being collated by an up aspiring journalist which takes you to the different countries and times. The Spanish is excellent. LOTS OF subjunctive and strange combinations to further improve your reading Spanish. Lots of dialogue and at times very warm and emotional writing. I love it.
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on 6 May 2015
I agree with the general thrust of these reviews. I took it as holiday reading, greatly enjoyed it, and only needed to use the dictionary a dozen times in nearly 1100 pages - my Spanish being Dip.OU standard. Anyone who liked El Tiempo Entre Costuras by María Dueñas and La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón should enjoy this, plenty of good mid-20th century atmosphere. The narrative flaws are obvious - the story told through a variety of witnesses, but in each case the voice rapidly shifts into straight narrative and dialogue. The narrator/plot device Guillermo criss-crosses Europe and the Atlantic at the behest of his various contacts in pursuit of the story but never fails to be given a good dinner and to pick up the thread with whomsoever he has been sent to meet. The heroine is maddening, coincidence plays a major part, some of the characters are ciphers or mere plot devices, but in spite of the flaws it still manages to be a ripping yarn. I anticipated the plot twist in the final pages at around page 500.
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on 16 March 2015
Me encantó esta novela; no solamente la historia de la protagonista central, Amelia Garayoa, sino también la de su bisnieto Guillermo, que descubre su vida asombrosa al entrevistarse con una seleccion de expertos sobre aspectos de la guerra civil y la segunda guerra mundial. La historia de amor a su centro es muy impactante y conmovedora. Es una obra muy larga, y tenia yo un problema, no tanto porque es larga en si, sino las razones : hay tantos acontecimientos traumáticos que sufre la pobre Amelia por todos partes de Europa (y en Argentina tambien) que a veces su historia es sumergida en La Historia. Pero es impresionante a la vez (perdone mis errores en castellano)….
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
I initially read this book to keep my Spanish fresh... But got totally caught up with most interesting story ( real life historical events told through fictional characters ). Great read
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