In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.
I love stories where young women triumph over their odds and Yamile Saied Méndez gives us a glorious one in Furia with Camila.
Overcoming patriarchy is hard everywhere. Having to overcome it in your own family and country, and then add poverty on top of it can be impossible. Sometimes luck does play a hand in life, but so does sacrifice and dedication. Camila demonstrates all of these characteristics.
Her family dynamics will be familiar to a lot of readers as will the state of her surroundings. Méndez does not soften any of the characters, even Camila as she missteps with her family. There is a saying in the book, “a lie has short legs” and this will come true many times in the book in ways that are expected and illuminating. The struggle to escape makes people take desperate actions.
Méndez creates a dramatic story in the background which runs throughout the book in which every female’s lives are judged against. It is an intriguing technique to utilize to illustrate the patriarchal ideas which run in men and women. It is also a sad reality of life.
There is a brief moment of domestic violence in the book. Méndez gives us a satisfying resolution to this situation.
Overall Furia, is a coming of age story about Camila, who with nowhere else to go but the soccer field is determined to succeed there and on fields everywhere. You will be cheering “Furia” too by the end as Camila races across the field.
I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.
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Meet the Author
Publisher: Algonquin, 9781616209919, 15 September 2020
Cover Design: Carla Weise
Settings: Rosario, Argentina
Promotion materials are from Algonquin Publicity.
4Bio and/or Synopsis are from Goodreads.
Photo credit: Book cover is from Goodreads.