The Year Of The Flood
A beautiful tale by Spaniard Eduardo Mendoza, a well-balanced story with great characters that make you want the best for them both. It was for me, a book I couldn’t put down.
Year of the flood is set in the 1950’s in village in Barcelona province Northern Spain. Times are difficult in the aftermath of civil war and under the harsh leadership of Franco.
These tough times see the new Mother Superior, Sister Consuelo, from the local convent paying a visit to the local rich, arrogant and single landowner, Augusto Aixela, to ask for funds to start on old peoples home.
An innocent enough intention that spirals, seemingly out of her control. One visit is not enough and she finds herself drawn to the manor house under the disapproval of her second-in-command.
The tale of a growing friendship that threatens her spiritual walk and sanity, is a satisfying read. Their growing attraction is confused by her abduction by local hill bandits, to look after their leader who'd been shot.
Caught in cross-fire and saved from the civil guard firing squad by her friendship with Augusto, the pair are caught in mistiming and mis-understandings, that follow them until death.
The book is a very clever and humorous story of two very different characters from opposite backgrounds that develop an enormous admiration for each other that flares rapidly and ceases unfulfilled.
Never quite knowing how the story is moving along, its twists keep you reading and hoping for your own outcome, the characters are believable. I found myself being impressed that a man had written the inner turmoils of a nun.
I’d like to tweak the ending slightly but it’s still satisfactory and enjoyable. I’ll definitely read it again to enjoy the scenes and dialogue and not to get to the end as soon as possible.
The language is perhaps a little old-fashioned or maybe charmingly stilted because of the translation, but I personally enjoyed it tremendously not just that it was a good story by a talented writer. But that the talented writer is Spanish, the book was written in Spanish, and set in Spain.
I’m now on the look out for more of his novels that come highly praised, perhaps one day I’ll tackle the original Spanish version!
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