Swedish Tango Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Swedish Tango

Atria, Sep 2004, 23.00
ISBN: 0743476425

In the 1970s, Pablo Neruda asks movie star Octavio Ribeiro to teach Salvador Allende how to work the media while he runs for the Chilean presidency. Ribeiro pays quite a price after Allende's reign falls; thugs of Allende's opponent Pinochet abduct and torture his wife Salome to frighten Allende supporters and to personally make Octavio pay. After Salome is rescued, she, Octavio and their children receive political asylum in Sweden.
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Salome visits Dr. Samuel Rudin, an expert on post-traumatic stress syndrome. Samuel has his own troubles as his French Jewish parents are still very upset about the Holocaust though they fled to Peru before Hitler's invasion. His wife Kaija also has parental issues as her parents sent her to the safety of adoption in Sweden during WWII. Samuel and Salome have a brief affair, but the doctor knows it's wrong and ends it.

Two decades later, Salome is asked to testify against Pinochet. With Samuel dead for years, she turns to Octavio, whom she still loves, asking him what she should do as she fears repercussions.

SWEDISH TANGO is a look at family vs. society told by the perspectives of Salome and Octavio. The story line places an Ayn Rand lens on societal ethics versus personal loyalty and safety.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Swedish Tango

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Political/social activism    -   Yes Plotlet:    -   general liberal/left wing activism    -   surviving repressive dictatorship Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Hispanic/Latinic


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Scandinavia

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Alyson Richman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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