|About the Book|
Angela Castro is an unhappy, frightened young woman married to a man her family and friends see as an ideal husband—handsome, wealthy, and devoted to his wife. Unfortunately, only she knows that he is also abusive and dangerously controlling.After a brief affair that leaves her pregnant, Angela flees to a married cousin in Venezuela, where she slowly begins to remake her life. In time, she marries again, this time to a Chilean professor exiled for speaking out against the military dictatorship’s assault on academic freedom.Over the next decade, the two of them and their friends in the small circle of Chilean exiles in Caracas build new lives in their adopted country. During their long exile, parents die without the comfort of their children still in exile, young children grow to adulthood in a foreign land, and the exiled Chileans advance their careers. Finally, the Pinochet years end, and it’s safe for them to go home. The decision to go or stay, however, turns out to be far more difficult and painful than the exiles anticipated.Angela, and her husband, Rodrigo Betancourt, return to their homeland after a long and sometimes bitter argument, settling in Valparaíso, where they build a good life. Everything changes for the couple, however, when Angela accidentally encounters her abusive ex-husband.Note to readers: The title, A Song of Despair, comes from a small book of poems by Pablo Neruda called Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair.