Historical Musings #32: Exploring South America

While I was reading The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley a few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I have read very few books set in South America, historical or otherwise. The Bedlam Stacks involves a mission to 1860s Peru in search of quinine and is the only book about Peru I can remember reading. And it’s not just Peru, because Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and all the other countries that make up South America have also featured rarely or not at all in my reading.

A quick search of the historical fiction reviews on my blog brings up only one result: The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley, which tells the story of a young woman who lived in Rio de Janeiro during the 1920s and played a part in the creation of the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Expanding the search to include reviews of any genre, I also found Little Black Lies, a crime novel by Sharon Bolton set in the Falkland Islands, and Three Singles to Adventure, Gerald Durrell’s account of an animal-collecting expedition to Guyana. And that’s all. I can’t think of many examples from my pre-blogging days either, so clearly there’s a big gap in my reading that needs to be filled!

Do you have any good books to recommend that are set in South America? For the purposes of this post I would particularly like to hear about historical fiction or non-fiction – anything that will help me to understand the histories of these countries – but contemporary suggestions are welcome too.


Added to my historical fiction shelves since last month’s post:

* The Queen’s Mary by Sarah Gristwood
* Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick
* The Marsh King’s Daughter by Elizabeth Chadwick
* Voice of the Falconer by David Blixt
* The Beacon at Alexandria by Gillian Bradshaw
* Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
* Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon
* The Tower is Full of Ghosts Today by Alison Weir

Have you added any new historical fiction to your TBR recently?