Review of The Rabbit House by Laura Alcoba

September 21, 2016

therabbithousebylauralcobacoverThe Times defined this book awesome, wonderful, beautiful. That is not a fiction, but a memoir, a touching memoir about an historical event that people should never forget: the dictatorship in Argentina in 1975. The book is titled The Rabbit House. I read the Italian edition titled: La bambina della casa dei conigli. The author is an Argentine writer: Laura Alcoba. This is an unforgettable memoir about a betrayed and injured country, Argentina, that in the early 1970s endured a cruel military dictatorship.

This is a book about the so called “desaparecidos”, namely missed people or rather people kidnapped, tortured and killed because they hampered the rise of dictatorship. The author is just the daughter of a couple of opponents of the regime military. During those happenings, Laura was a little girl, she indeed was seven years old. Her family joined a team of opponents of the dictatorship and for this reason, along with other fellows, they hide in a typography disguised as a farm where rabbits were grown and sold. The girl called that place the house of rabbits.

But even there, it was not easy to live and hide because betrayers and spies were anywhere. To prevent them from being discovered, the little girl was forced to not say nothing to no-one not even her name. Laura was often trusted to her grandparents and during the days they walked along the streets, Laura jumped back and forth. But this was not a game, but only a trick to watch around in order to see if someone was following them. Until when it arrived a day to escape again and find a new different hideout instead of the rabbit house.

The father of Laura was imprisoned and her mother escaped to France along with her. In the book, Laura also remembered other companions and opponents of the military regime, such as Chico and his wife Diana, who was pregnant at the time of dictatorship . In the final stage of the memoir, the author also remembers the assault of the military forces at the house of the rabbits. The remaining fighters, among them Chico and his wife, were killed, while their newborn daughter, Clara, missed like the other desaparecidos kids in Argentina.

Escaped to France, the author today teaches Spanish literature at the University. One day, she decided to write her poignant memoir about her Argentina, a country ended up in the grip of a military dictatorship in the 1970s. And thinking about her parents, Clara, and the house of the rabbits, Laura started writing, not just to remember, maybe, if it is possible, to forget , for a while! This book, hence, is an historical book and a poignant memoir at the same time, it is great literature written through the gaze of a little girl on a plagued country. Her eyes, indeed, have enlightened the tormented history of a Country that fought to survive and defeat a merciless dictatorship.

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