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The Time of the Doves

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,913 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
The Time of the Doves - by Mercè Rodoreda - is the powerfully written story of a naïve shop-tender during the Spanish Civil War and beyond, is a rare and moving portrait of a simple soul confronting and surviving a convulsive period in history. The book has been widely translated, and was made into a film.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 1986 by Graywolf Press (first published 1962)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aubrey
I'm writing this on the back of my doctor's note because it's the only paper I have with me at the coffee shop and a bad bout of illness has me out of sickness-induced superstition loathe to leave this composing till I go home. Yes, I know, not the best place/activity for an invalid, but I (not contagious, mind you) already had one and one too many of those days two yesters ago where no writing and a mere twelve pages of reading left me with the feeling of a small bone rotting away from lack of ...more
Jim Fonseca
Feb 20, 2016 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catalan-authors
A novel set in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and translated from the Catalan. Originally published in 1962, it is and it isn’t “another Spanish Civil War novel.” There is no fighting or scenes from the front. We only hear of the war from the perspective of a woman whose husband is fighting with the Republicans while she slaves at home and as a maid and cleaning lady trying to feed herself and her two children. So we hear of the war only from neighborhood women, talk in the streets, the ...more
Jeff Jackson
Aug 14, 2015 Jeff Jackson rated it it was amazing
There's a reason why Gabriel Garcia Marquez learned Catalan just read this novel. He called it "the most beautiful novel published in Spain since the Civil War."

Great translation by poet David Rosenthal that captures the gorgeously off-handed rhythms and repetitions of Rodereda's prose. Avoid the newer version called "In Diamond Plaza."
[P]
Nov 18, 2015 [P] rated it liked it
You should never ignore the signs. In a relationship, I mean. It is easy to tell yourself that you are overreacting, or imagining things, that your doubts are unreasonable or that what you see or feel is insignificant relative to the positives, but you ought to trust your instincts [or your counter-instincts, if your instincts are telling you that things will work out ok with someone who is giving you the impression of being a douche]. The reality is that, contrary to what we are repeatedly told ...more
Zanna
3.5 stars

Lacking a mother to advise her, Natalia, whose ideas of romance and beauty seem to be symbolised by the colour white, which she loves to wear, is picked up by a douchecanoe so selfish and arrogant he takes her name from her and proceeds to arrange her life and possessions at his service. Eventually he fills their home with doves, another white creature coerced violently into confinement. Natalia is living in hell, but it seems there is a hell below this one because along comes the civil
...more
Txe Polon
Dec 06, 2013 Txe Polon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Una autèntica delícia des del principi fins al final. Amb moments antològics com l'inicial ball a la plaça del Diamant, la lluita contra els coloms, el casament de la Rita o el climàtic final, es tracta d'una novel·la plena de sensibilitat que emociona fins al moll de l'os gràcies al talent narratiu d'una escriptora que, com a tècnica narrativa, és capaç de camuflar el seu propi llenguatge sota el d'un personatge ja esdevingut emblemàtic. A través de les limitacions d'aquest llenguatge, la Natàl ...more
Steffi
May 28, 2016 Steffi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: places-barcelona
Eine junge Frau lässt sich in den 30er Jahren auf eine Ehe mit einem Mann ein, der sich als Taugenichts herausstellt. Sie bekommen zwei Kinder, die Frau muss stets zurückstecken, während der Mann seinen Launen und Träumereien frönt. Eine ebensolche Laune scheint seine Kriegsbegeisterung zu sein, schließlich fällt er im Krieg und die Frau bleibt mit den Kindern zurück. Der Hunger treibt sie an den Rand der Verzweiflung. Auch als ihr Leben irgendwann eine Wendung nimmt, verlässt die Frau niemals e ...more
Jane
Mar 10, 2013 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now this is lovely. A beautifully told love story, that grows into the story of a family, and then into something bigger and deeper. A compelling tale of life before, during and after the Spanish civil war.

And it was a bestseller in the 1960s, it was translated into more than twenty, it became a beloved classic, and now that I have read every word I can easily understand why.

Natalia was a shop-girl, with a fiancé, living in the working class quarter of Barcelona in the early 1930s. Her life chan
...more
Bradford
Mar 30, 2007 Bradford rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a really good mix of

1) stylistically lithe prose, spontaneously beautiful and quirky, stream-of-consciousness without the cerebral aspect that turn some off to it (not that I mind that but...) and

2) intensely desperately human experience. A woman looks back on her life, as it has passed through the Spanish Civil War. Sounds bleak but an entire life, with everything in crisp detail, fits in.

Quite simply lovely and stunning, and every time i find a copy I buy it so I can give it away to an
...more
Кремена Михайлова
Отдавна ми се четеше нещо испанско. Искам да наваксам с тази литература от 20 и 21-ви век и да я опозная повече. Всъщност книгата е писана на каталонски език и си спомних как в началото на престоя ми в Барселона се чудех защо почти нищо не разбирам на испанците… а те си говорят на каталонски. Интересно ми стана, че може би тогава трамваите наистина са били опасни за хората?! Щом Гауди го е блъснал трамвай, щом главната героиня все се пазеше от тях (освен че може би беше и някакъв символ пресичан ...more
Becky
Mar 23, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
This is the most unusual and powerful book I've read in a long time. Rodereda creates the character of Natalia in a quirky stream of consciousness voice. The voice is painfully naive to begin with and then matures over the course of the book as Natalia experiences the Spanish Civil War. This book has an early feminist feeling that reminds me of Jean Rhys's work. Rodereda was writing in Catalan, a language that was forbidden in Spain at the time. From a position of exile in France, her descriptio ...more
Hakan
Aug 10, 2016 Hakan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
gücünü kadın kahramanından alan bir roman. basit, sıradan hayatının gereksiz denebilecek ayrıntılarına hakim ama hayatını değiştiren/dönüştüren büyük olaylar karşısında bir ölçüde duyarsız ya da kararsız/suskun bir karakteri sahici kılmayı başarabiliyor katalan yazar. romanın yapısını bu karakter üzerinden kuruyor ve meselesini neredeyse kahramanın anlatmadıkları üzerinden anlatabiliyor. savaş ve aşk. güvercinler gittiğinde, savaşı anlatmayan bir savaş romanı, aşkı anlatmayan bir aşk romanı bu a ...more
Leylak
Sep 06, 2016 Leylak rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sakin, su gibi akan, naif bir anlatımdı ve çok güzeldi...
Leonor
May 05, 2015 Leonor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
A história de uma tristeza conformada pode ser também uma história de coragem, de esperança, de luta, de liberdade, de redescoberta. Podia ser o diário de uma mulher que vai envelhecendo mas é mais um monólogo de vida que conhece o casamento, a maternidade, a guerra, a fome, a paz, o amor, a amizade, o medo. Esta mulher podia ser qualquer mulher a atravessar todas as emoções que se conhecem. É um romance imenso, carregado dos detalhes dos olhos e de muitas formas de amor.
Jessica
Feb 14, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-school
I'm a little speechless, a little breathless. The Time of the Doves is one of the most beautiful things I've encountered in a long time. I'm overwhelmed; I need a moment. I don't know. Read this book.
Amante Libri
Romanzo che abbraccia la storia di Spagna dagli anni '30 agli anni '60, passando per la guerra civile, storia che rimane comunque ai confini perché la vera protagonista è la vita di 'Colometa', giovane ragazza determinata a superare le difficoltà di un'esistenza non facile. La prosa è semplice e comune, perfetta qui in quanto la voce narrante è la stessa protagonista che non si può dire né colta né istruita.
Un inno ai valori più semplici e veri.

La piazza del Diamante
Mercè Rodoreda
Traduzione: An
...more
Troy
Aug 18, 2013 Troy rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
As I was reading this I had extreme deja vu. After a few pages I realized I read it before. I don't remember when or where and couldn't remember anything about the book. But as I read, I realized that I only needed to speed read, blaze my way through a tumble of words, and whole scenes, characters, events, and language would flower and kaleidoscope in front of me, and my mind would fill in the events ready to be read a few pages in advance.


I remembered how the beady eyed creep called our heroine
...more
Jimmy
Jul 29, 2010 Jimmy rated it really liked it
I read this book for the Spotlight Series (which puts the spotlight on small press publishers by having bloggers read and review a book by a small press that they have chosen to feature for that month. The current spotlight is on Graywolf Press). I will post this review on my blog on July 31, 2010:
"And as he was talking he'd run his fingernail along the crack in the table and dig out breadcrumbs that had gotten stuck there, and it seemed strange to me that he'd do something I did sometimes but t
...more
Tammy
Nov 05, 2012 Tammy rated it it was ok
I read this book as the beginning of my immersion into the Catalan culture. It certainly gave me some background on that but the story itself was lacking. Sometimes how the sentences with it's imagery would sometimes drag on forever and loose me but at the same time it was beautiful, how poetic it was. I really didn't like the main character (Natalia/Colometa) too much as I believe throughout the book she stayed exactly the same: an innocent girl with little knowledge of the world around her. I ...more
Cristina
Jul 21, 2016 Cristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Para jardín el que me ha puesto esta mujer dentro. Me ha dado pena que acabase de lo que me estaba gustando su forma de escribir bonito (que tiene mérito que con ella sea bonito hasta describir una rata muerta).
Lavinia
Jul 25, 2014 Lavinia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, in-en, 2014
The story is beautiful in its simplicity, count me in every time there's a stream of consciousness narration. Totally different from Death in Spring (the other one by R. I read not long ago) not in a good or bad way, just different, which tells a lot about Rodoreda's versatility as a writer. I wonder how much more I would have liked it had I been able to enjoy a proper translation.
Do read it, by all means, but stay away from English translations (this one in particular!)
Taube
Feb 11, 2016 Taube rated it it was amazing
"[I] read [The Time of the Doves] cover to cover all in one afternoon. When I was finished, I felt as foolish as Balboa discovering the powerful Pacific." --Sandra Cisneros

In Sandra Cisneros' recent memoir, "A House of My Own: Stories from My Life," Cisneros speaks of an ebullient admiration for the writing of the Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda. Cisneros is hardly alone in her respect for Rodoreda-- Gabriel García Márquez has also modestly described "The Time of the Doves" (La plaça del Diamant)
...more
Джорджия
Jan 27, 2014 Джорджия rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Джорджия by: Предай нататък
Монолог на една доста измъчена и объркана жена. Сякаш тя не участваше във взимането на което и да е решение в живота си, а нещата просто се случваха, като в същото време беше главното действащо лице в тези решения и главен изпълнител.

Причината за оценката ми са точно описанията - нямам нищо против обстановката, в която ни вкарва - с това успя - улици, къщи, балкони, градини, паркове, бакалии, трамваи. Наистина описва живо, но ми дойдоха в повече описанията на гълъби, повтарящи се неколкократно.
...more
Ivanimdi
Un clàssic de la llengua catalana. Excel·lent reflex de la societat del moment, de la Segona República, la Guerra Civil i la post-guerra, amb el masclisme i les penúries de la guerra com els pilars d’aquest moment de la història catalana i espanyola.
Tot i així, els fets més polítics de la guerra queden molt desdibuixats, al fons, mostrant al lector la veritable conseqüència de tot allò: el patiment de la població, sobretot les dones vídues de guerra i els fills que moren de gana.
Al pròleg l’au
...more
Macarena V.
Dec 26, 2015 Macarena V. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Me cogió una mano, y su mano temblaba, y me dijo que no me podía imaginar qué jardín le acababa de poner dentro'.

Esta señora escribe así de bonito sobre cosas tan crudas como la guerra y el hambre, y con esa simpleza transmite más sentimiento que mil adjetivos juntos.
Neslihan K
Aug 28, 2016 Neslihan K rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spanish-catalan
Bu yaz okuduğum en iyi roman
malynosorozec
Sep 12, 2014 malynosorozec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: na-półce, inne, 2014
“... byłam tak bardzo, tak śmiertelnie wyniszczona, że opisać tego nie można, a przecież trzeba było żyć...” [1]

Lata trzydzieste dwudziestego wieku. Hiszpania. Barcelona. Diamentowy plac. To tutaj zaczyna się opowieść Natalii. Zaczyna się od poznania przystojnego Quimeta, który wkrótce zostanie jej mężem. Dla młodej dziewczyny rozpoczyna się nowy etap w życiu, a my - czytelnicy - będziemy jej towarzyszyć przez kolejne lata. Razem z nią poznamy różne smaki życia. Od radości poprzez obojętność, aż
...more
Milan/zzz
May 21, 2015 Milan/zzz rated it really liked it
I must say that at the beginning I was a little bit baffled with this book. I mean when G.G. Márquez says how I’m holding "The most beautiful novel published in Spain since the Civil War." I expected I’d be blown away from the page 1. I expected novel profound as an ocean and equally demanding to sail thru... so I was floating page after page after page waiting for a storm and in my expectations ignoring the landscape that has been enfolding before me... until I finally notice that because of th ...more
Jessica
This is an incredibly depressing book. It's just relentless misery, all the time. From the very beginning, our narrator's life is miserable, and as time progresses things get worse and worse, until towards the end she finally gets a slight reprieve.

So I didn't find this book very satisfying. I read it over three reading sessions, and it seemed that the novel changed a lot between each of those sessions (even though the points where I stopped were not-particularly-remarkable chapter breaks).

For t
...more
Sue Lyle
Mar 22, 2014 Sue Lyle rated it really liked it
Part of my pre-trip to Barcelona reading. Set in the Spanish civil war the very ordinary woman who narratives the story is not the usual type of lead character. She is largely uneducated and seems to drift through life while momentous events are happening around her that she doesn't understand and doesn't explore. We see the awful impact that the Spanish civil war had on ordinary people. Not for this book debates about communism or anarchism or fascism that usually accompany civil war novels, in ...more
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500 Great Books B...: The Time of the Doves - Mercè Rodoreda 6 39 May 10, 2015 02:09PM  
  • El porqué de las cosas
  • Marks of Identity
  • Primera memoria
  • El cuarto de atrás
  • Solitude
  • Nada
  • El Jarama
  • El tragaluz
  • Bearn o La sala de les nines
  • Tiempo de silencio
  • Si te dicen que caí
  • La voce a te dovuta: poema
  • Réquiem por un campesino español
  • Burden of Desire
  • Los pazos de Ulloa
  • El público
  • Tirano Banderas
  • The Gray Notebook
42927
Mercè Rodoreda i Gurguí was a Spanish / Catalan novelist.

She is considered by many to be the most important Catalan novelist of the postwar period. Her novel "La plaça del diamant" ('The diamond square', translated as 'The Time of the Doves', 1962) has become the most acclaimed Catalan novel of all time and since the year it was published for the first time, it has been translated into over 20 lan
...more
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“And I got a strong feeling of the passage of time. Not the time of clouds and sun and rain and the moving stars that adorn the night, not spring when its time comes or fall, not the time that makes leaves bud on branches and then tears them off or folds and unfolds and colors the flowers, but the time inside me, the time you can't see but it molds us. The time that rolls on and on in people's hearts and makes them roll along with it and gradually changes us inside and out and makes us what we'll be on our dying day.” 18 likes
“... може би ще срещна някоя локва по пътечките ... а във всяка локва, колкото и малка да е, ще има небе ...” 7 likes
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