“Lies have short legs.”
That is the opening sentence of Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez. Camila Hassan says this proverb and opens a window into her double life as an Argentinian high school student by day and a Futbol player known as Furia after school. Camila has kept her secret of playing Futbol from her parents and in the shadow of her brother, Pablo. He is a good player and has ambitions of turning pro. Camila’s parents will not allow her to play Futbol and want her to excel academically and become a doctor. However, she has dreams of playing in the United States for the best women’s soccer league.
Camila plays on a local team that qualifies for the South American tournament. This tournament will bring much needed notoriety for her and the rest of the team. However, when Camila’s first love, Diego Ferrari, returns to town as an international Futbol superstar, it complicates her life.
She is trying to juggle these various aspects of her life before they all crash down on her. Of course, the unavoidable happens and Camila has to make a major decision if she truly wants to fulfill her dreams as Futbol player. The truth of her secret life is revealed to her parents and the consequences of that admission turns violent.
Mendez tells a thought-provoking story about the importance of never letting go of one’s dreams, despite the opposition from those who are the closest to you. Also, she does an excellent job with pulling me into the world of Argentinian Futbol and gets me to care about most of the characters. Camila, Diego, and her mother are the characters I connected with the most throughout the novel.
Furia is an excellent first novel by Yamile Saied Mendez and I’m looking forward to reading more stories from her in the future.