Flashback Friday is hosted by Bookshelf Fantasties, a little weekly tradition in which she picks a book from her reading past to highlight. If you’d like to join in, here are the Flashback Friday book selection guidelines:
- Has to be something you’ve read yourself
- Has to still be available, preferably still in print
- Must have been originally published 5 or more years ago
Other than that, the sky’s the limit! Join me, please, and let us all know: what are the books you’ve read that you always rave about? What books from your past do you wish EVERYONE would read? Pick something from five years ago, or go all the way back to the Canterbury Tales if you want. It’s Flashback Friday time!
Happy Friday! For this week’s FF, I chose a book published in 1945 from Spain:
By: Carmen Laforet
Eighteen-year-old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while she pursues her dream of studying at university. Arriving in the dead of night she discovers not the independence she craves, but a crumbling apartment and an eccentric collection of misfits whose psychological ruin and violent behaviour echoes that of the recent civil war.
As the tension between the family members grows in claustrophobic intensity, Andrea finds comfort in a friendship with Ena, a girl from university whose gilded life only serves to highlight the squalor of Andrea’s own experiences. But what is the secret of the relationship between Ena and Andrea’s predatory uncle, Roman, and what future can lie ahead for Andrea in such a bizarre and disturbing world?
I read this book for the first time last year (review) and just absolutely loved it. It’s moody and atmospheric, reminiscent of Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind (commentary), but there’s a different feeling to it, almost stifling, really, probably because the author lived and published during Franco’s regime. Everything from the sentences to the family drama to the main character’s reflection about growing up were just wondering, I pretty much devoured this book from start to finish. (I also wish I wrote just as well as she did) It was hard not to divulge and analyse every single aspect of the novel, there was just so much to think about in this novel xD But I will say that I enjoy a good novel involving family dynamics/drama and this book certainly hit the bill with that.
As a side note, I really hope they translate her other books to English some day soon. I think she’s written over 8 novels or something but Nada remains the only novel to date that was translated into English (my Spanish, sadly to say, is limited to the occasional word here and there).
If you’re participating in this meme, be sure to link up over at Bookshelf Fantasties!