Veronica's Reviews > The Wind From The East

The Wind From The East by Almudena Grandes
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Aug 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, kindle
Recommended for: fans of Maggie O'Farrell
Read from July 18 to August 12, 2011

"The Spanish Maggie O'Farrell" fits Almudena Grandes well. It took me a long time to read this book -- nearly a month -- but it was for lack of time rather than lack of enjoyment. It's absorbing and atmospheric, and like O'Farrell, Grandes gives us less-than-perfect, morally ambiguous characters struggling with their demons. Sara and Juan have both escaped from Madrid and the problems of their lives there, and come to live on the Atlantic coast, where "Everything fled before the force of the wind like some powerful classical god." The wind is a constant theme; Juan, Sara, Maribel and the others are buffeted by life but somehow survive and find calm in each other's company' learning to cope with whatever the wind brings.

A big thumbs up for the translation, by Sonia Soto: superb, the best translated work I've read in a long time. Not that I've read it in the original yet, but you forget immediately that you are reading a translation; a rare phenomenon. It's difficult to quote a passage because it's an accumulation of effects. The descriptive passages and internal monologues are limpid and free-flowing; the dialogue is realistic and modern. And the story, characters, and dialogue still feel very Spanish; it would be a great book to take on a Spanish holiday. I'll certainly be reading more of her work.
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Reading Progress

07/18 "Described as "the Spanish Maggie O'Connell", and currently that's proving accurate. Really enjoying it, and unusually it's translated so well that it doesn't read like a translated book." 1 comment
08/19 marked as: read

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