Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Title:  Fruit of the Drunken Tree

Author: Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Context: Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a historical fiction novel set in Columbia during the 1980s. The tale is about the author’s own life set against the backdrop of Pablo Escobar’s strange-hold on the nation’s fate. It is the spellbinding story about a teenage maid and the sheltered young girl who strike the most unexpected friendship intimidating to undo both of them.  Realities of both their lives collide. In the name of survival both are left with unbearable choices.

Synopsis: Both Chula, a seven year old and Cassandra, her sister are happy living carefree lives in Bogota, in their gated community. However they face the threatening of assassinations, car bombings and kidnappings just outside the walls of their neighborhood. Pablo Escobar, the godlike drug lord carries on evading the officials and jurisdiction and capturing the nation’s attention.

A live-in-maid named Petrona, living in the guerrilla occupied slum in the city, is hired by Chula’s mother. Chula makes a decision to find out more about the mysterious ways of Petrona. However the unusual behavior fails to give the true impression more, as compared to her shyness. Petrona is a young woman facing the huge burden of being a family provider while she is pulled in the reverse direction by the rip tide of her first love. Families of both the girls, try their level best to retain stability in the conflict which is escalating rapidly. In the process both Chula and Petrona find that they are intertwined in a web of secrecy that will give them no choice but to make a choice between betrayal and sacrifice.

Other works by the Author :

Short stories and essays

She is book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate

Srinath RaghavanSrinath Raghavan

Author: Srinath Raghavan Profile: Srinath is an Indian historian. Srinath Raghavan is currently a Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He specializes in contemporary history of India. He completed his education at the University of Madras.  Besides this he is also a visiting Senior Research Fellow at

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