Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis


From the highly acclaimed, award-winning author of The Gods of Tango, a revolutionary new novel about five wildly different women who, in the midst of the Uruguayan dictatorship, find one another as lovers, friends, and ultimately, family.In 1977 Uruguay, a military government crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In this environment, where the everyday rights of people are under attack, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression to be p...

Details Cantoras

Release DateSep 3rd, 2019
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, LGBT, GLBT, Queer

Reviews Cantoras

  • Elyse Walters
    This novel is magnificent!!!....gorgeous!!! It’s ‘alive’, bursting with energy! In Uruguay you could be arrested for just having five or more people in your house. The regime did whatever it wanted regardless of the laws. Women didn’t make sexual advances in the country of dictatorship......BUT......Flaca, Romina, Anita, Paz, and Marlena did!!!The women had seven full days of sunshine - no toilets and no husbands. I wanted to stand up and...
  • Diane S ☔
    Freedom. In 1970s Uruguay,freedom was not to be found. Called the process, the country was under a brutal dictatorship, a system that cared little for innocence or guilt. A system that took, people, rights, joy and made them disappear. For the five women in this story this wasn't the only type of freedom not available to them, they also did not have the freedom to love whom they wanted. Their same sex desire must be kept hidden at all costs. They...
  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    I’ve just spent this entire novel going back and forth between laughing and sobbing. It’s a triumph, a celebration and a shared mourning all in one. TW: rape, abuse, homophobia, torture (conversion therapy, electroshock), imprisonment, suicide*I was sent a free copy of this book by the publisher for review but all opinions are my own*
  • Joc
    This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read in long time. It’s triumphant and devastating, it’s optimistic and heart-breaking, and then manages to cover just about every emotion in between. The story starts off in 1977 in Montevideo, Uruguay, where five women come together to form the beginnings of friendship. A week-long trip to Cabo Polonia, a small village on the coast north of Montevideo, connects them to each other and the villag...
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I was late to a scheduled podcast recording Sunday because I just had to finish this book first. It is beautifully written about five women living in Uruguay, building a found family to live as who they really are, despite dictators, trauma, and fear. Some of the story comes from research the author did on the first LGBTQ+ spaces in Uruguay, not in the city but on the very edge of the country between ocean and sand dunes. The five women in the no...
  • Jennifer
    I can’t even. This novel is absolutely gorgeous. A multifaceted look at oppression and its consequences, and five women who found freedom in each other. My favorite quote:“Why did life put so much inside a woman and then keep her confined to smallness?”Audiobook narrated by the author, Carolina De Robertis.
  • Lupita Reads
    Review coming soon but hands down top five favorite of this year!!!
  • Vanessa
    Set in the late 70’s, five women bond over needing to escape the Uruguayan dictatorship, with the strict rules of the city, they decide to head to an isolated coastal town, a place with no electricity or running water with barely any walls a place of “no toilets and no telephones and no husbands” a place they can be free to be completely themselves. Five women who share a need to keep their queerness away from the city full of eyes where it...
  • JulesGP
    Cantoras is the second book that I’ve read by this author, The Gods of Tango being the first and that one took me two tries to finish because both stories are heavy reading. Cantoras, which is the Spanish word for female singers and old timey slang for Lesbians, is a telling of five women who discover each other the way women do, by a glance, certain body language, or via a few choice remarks. They’re very young and desperate to breathe and b...
  • Jill
    A novel written by a Uruguayan-born author inspired by five queer women who discovered a sanctuary on the coast in a sanctuary called Cabo Polonio doesn’t exactly have the best-seller label all over it. But when the author is Carolina de Robertis – the author of the outstanding book Perla – and the women represent any one of us who yearn for a feeling of safety, home and family, the book cries out to be read.For anyone who loves books that ...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    A moving and original story of found family for a group of young, lesbian women in Uruguay under a dictatorship. Right away I was pulled into the story and struck by how unique it felt, this is the first time I've read De Robertis and I was immediately captivated. She expertly navigates how they struggle with the intersections of political and social oppression for their gender and their sexual orientation. While they do not have an easy life and...
  • Karen
    This book is fabulous and I learned so much by reading it. This historical fiction is about 5 queer women ( Flaca, Romina, Anita - La Venus, Malenia and Paz) who meet under various situations and decide to travel to this beach called Cabo Polonio. This beach becomes there refuge during a volatile time in Uruguay. Over the course of many years (teens to older adults), they see things change not only in Uruguay but on the beach they claimed as thei...
  • Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)
    An absolutely breathtaking narrative, truly special! This is a story about five women as they become friends, form relationships, and become chosen family along the way. Set against the backdrop of the Uruguayan dictatorship, this is part coming of age and part learning to thrive amidst a society that condemned their existence. Before they had the words to articulate their sexual identify, they gave themselves the name “Cantoras.”I am immense...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    I remember the days, here in the U.S., where being gay meant being ostracized, and most people kept it a secret, much to the disadvantage of their psychological health. There are still some corners of America that remain in the Dark Ages, despite the new laws allowing gay people to marry. But in Uruguay, during the fascist dictatorship of the 70s, coming out of the closet meant getting arrested, tortured, sexually violated, and often “disappear...
  • Nadine
    There was much about this novel I liked at first - the five main characters felt so real and the intensity of their group friendship was moving, as was their struggle to be lesbian in a patriarchal society run by a ruthless dictatorship. But by the half way point I could no longer ignore that the lovely warmth I was feeling for the characters was too often generated by cliched, sappy writing. I wound up skimming the last half as a way to find out...
  • Ylenia
    3.5 starsSet in Uruguay, this beautiful yet incredibly heartbreaking story follows five protagonists, growing up & living as queer women during a dictatorship. It’s the kind of book that mostly focuses on characters - that’s what I like in my books - & these five women & their stories grabbed my interest from the start.It was an intense journey, definitely not an easy one, but I’m so glad De Robertis decided to tell this story.
  • Alison Hardtmann
    You know the kind of book where you forget that you're reading words on a page and all of a sudden it's much later than you'd wanted to stay up? This is that kind of novel. Set in Uruguay during the civic-military regime during the seventies and eighties, when Uruguayans lived under constant surveillance and danger of arrest, the novel follows a group of queer women who find a haven of sorts in an isolated beach community. For a few days or a wee...
  • Mary Lins
    “Cantoras” by Carolina De Robertis, brings us the story of five women; lesbians (“cantoras”) and bisexual : Flaca, Romina, Anita (La Venus), Paz, and Malena, in Uruguay in the 1970s and 80s as the country struggles under a brutal dictatorship. It’s a story of long-term friendships and how they change/don’t change over time.The novel begins with the five women camping on a beach on a remote peninsula called Cabo Polonio, which is a rea...
  • debra
    4.5 Very well written! Author's writing talent is glaringly obvious when compared to many of the books (mysteries) I read/listen to.
  • Jan
    A touching, nicely written story of five young lesbians during Uruguay’s dictatorship and afterwards.
  • Karen (idleutopia_reads)
    I don’t have the book in front of me so this is all coming from memories and feelings I still have for this book. It’s been a few weeks and I miss Paz, Flaca, Romina, Malena, La Venus, and Cabo Polonio so much. It truly feels like I left part of myself on the pages of this book and there is a part of them that have left an indelible mark. The book starts with a trip to this island that changes and forges a friendship that will last ages. The ...
  • Adriana
    She's done it again, folks She's done it again, folks 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
  • Toni
    The real question,” La Venus said, “is why buy a house at the edge of the world?” “Because it would be ours,” Paz said. “Don’t you see? We’d always have a place to be free.”The civil-military regime established in Uruguay in the early 1970’s may not carry the same kind of historical resonance as the Argentinian Dirty War, but the effects of the campaign of oppression and terror was felt by a population that was continually thr...
  • Madeline
    This book is absolutely gorgeous. From the first few pages, I knew I was going to love it. De Robertis' writing is fluid, loving, and generous. It is clear how much she cares for each of her characters and the world and lives that they inhabit. This novel is focus on the relationship between five women who live in Uruguay during the dictatorship that lasted until 1985. All of these women describe themselves as cantoras (singers in the feminine), ...
  • Mindy
    All the stars!!!This more than lived up to the hype. Actually I think it deserves more hype! This book was complete perfection. I was so deeply invested in all 5 women. It’s a true testament to the author’s talent that the storylines of 5 women were so completely fleshed out. It was also fascinating to learn about a country, Uruguay, and a time I wasn’t really familiar with. Can’t wait to read more from De Robertis! Highly recommend!! A...
  • Charlott
    "It was one of the things she loved about Flaca, this infinite ability to see a place for herself in the world, and to hell with the world's failure to return the favour."In 1977 a dictatorship is reigning in Uruguay though it's mostly euphemistically referred to as "the process". Five young women - Paz, Flaca, Romina, Malena, La Venus - who all live in Montevideo take a week-long trip to Cabo Polonia, a small village on the coast. Except for two...
  • Bonnie Brody
    I am not a Spanish speaking person so I hope my usage of 'encontrar' is correct. It refers to discovering or encountering, one of the major themes of this book, in opposition to the political background of a coup. People disappeared in Uruguay after the coup, and in Argentina at about the same time. They are known as 'the disappeared' - desaparecidos. Uruguay, once a relatively peaceful country changed in around 1973, after the presidential coup....