Book Review: Fruit of the Drunken Tree

We will be heading to Colombia in today’s book review. Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras is a tale about a country and its people living in fear because of a nacro-terrorist. It is about a family that wants to help a stranger in their time of need and what fear can drive people to.

The Fruit of the Drunken Tree: Summary

Book Cover for Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Fruitsof the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra know that their mom has a big heart. She hires nannies that are in need of a job and wants to help them. Colombia is under constant threat from Pablo Escobar and the constant crime happening in the city and nobody is safe. Not everyone is as well off as the Santiago family who live in a gated family and are protected from the constant crime.

Petrona, the live-in maid hired by the Santiago family, wants to provide for her family and also please her new boyfriend. She gets caught up in a messy situation when her boyfriend pressures her into giving her information on the Santiago family. Now she must choose between between the Santiago family or sacrifice them for her own safety.


I really enjoyed reading this book and when you find out that this novel is inspired by true events in Rojas’ life. It sends a chill down your spine. Petrona was based off a true character that was put in a similar situation as in the book but didn’t go through with it. And Rojas has not forgotten that event in her life.

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“And when I finally sat down to write I just kept returning to that story and I kept returning to my indebtedness for that act of kindness.”

I definitely recommend this powerful novel to anytime that loves books. So often we read books and forget that the person behind the novel wrote it for a reason. She captures the struggle and fear of living in Colombia and takes us there. And that alone is a good reason to read this novel.

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