Perla Suez - La pasajera
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Perla Suez sets her most recent novel besides familiar waters. La Pasajera is set in Entre Rios, the province to the northeast of Buenos Aires. It is a story of transition and adjustment.
Tránsito and her sister Lucía have spent forty years caring for the Admiral and la señora who live in an isolated mansion, inspired by the chateaus of France, but situated on the banks of a tropical river. The river both separates and connects the sisters from their island home, the place they grew up together before coming to work in the city.
The novel takes place on the afternoon of the funeral of the Admiral. With the death of their patron, Tránsito prepares to leave her life as a servant and return home. She is tired of caring for a house that is not her own, and of playing a minor role in someone else's story.
Yo ahora voy a remontar en canoa el río ancho, mirando mi cara en el agua hasta llegar a ese lugar, cruzando el canal, donde madre dijo que me dio a luz.
Now I am going to travel upstream along the wide river in the canoe, watching my face in the water until I arrive at that place, crossing the channel, where mother told me that I was born. (Suez 2008: 45)
The afternoon of the funeral, Tránsito tries to persuade her sister to return to the Delta with her:
Tenemos que cruzar al otro lado, y aunque hayamos dejado la vida aquí, quiero que regresemos juntas. Le prometí a madre que nunca te iba a abandonar.
We have to cross over to the other side, and even if it means leaving the life we have here, I want us to return together. I promised mother that I would never abandon you. (Suez 2008: 80)
But Lucía has already bought herself a plot in the city cemetery. She will not go back. Tránsito has to make the journey home on her own.
Suez, Perla (2008) La Pasajera (La otra orilla) Buenos Aires: Grupo Editorial Norma