El día en que ETA anuncia el abandono de las armas, Bittori se dirige al cementerio para contarle a la tumba de su marido el Txato, asesinado por los terroristas, que ha decidido volver a la casa donde vivieron. ¿Podrá convivir con quienes la acosaron antes y después del atentado que trastocó su vida y la de su familia? ¿Podrá saber quién fue el encapuchado que un día lluv...more
This novel has been a huge success in Spain recently. From September 2016 to July 2017, that is ten months after it was first published, it has run through twenty editions. Several of my friends have read or are reading it and a few recommended it to me. Generally I am not much drawn to bestsellers and this one was no exception. But I received it recently as a present from a family member, so I decided to face my prejudices.
The novel deals with two Basque families from around the 1980s to the re ...more
Miren’s son is charged in the killing. Spurred on by his mother patriotic fervor, her eldest son Joxe Mari grows to become part of ETA. And he is picked to kill his neighbor, a friend of the family.
The two families are torn apart in a land torn apart ...more
The book is Patria, by Fernando Aramburu. It deals with two families living in a Basque village. They are very close until they are separated by political reasons: one family's son is a member of ETA and the other family's father is murdered by ETA.
You have 9 narrators, small chapters that jump to different parts of the timeline with no pattern (at least not an obvious pattern I am too lazy to discover it). It sounds hectic, but it really isn't, I never got confus ...more
I loved reading it, anxious to go on and unable to stop at night.
I wish it was somehow described the situation of the oppression previously under Franco dictatorship, how were the Vassos treated?
Rarely did I encounter so much patience and skilfulness for turning the characters into full fledged humans. I feel I know them forever: we grew togheter and I witnessed their development, their sorrows, their darkest and brightesed moments. Wow!
First of all, Aramburu prefers to take the beaten track. There are ETA members, who are bad, and there are all others, politically more or less inert Basques, who are different but generally good; th ...more
We are in very similar territory to 'Milkman' by Anna Burns - a close examination of a society and time wracked by terrorism; and the effects of that terrorism on an intimate family and closed social grouping. Both writers have personal experience, and parallels are striking (even down to the dead cat! - Aramburu's however has less freighted symbolic significance than Burns', I think).
Both novels employ a non-linear, mosaic-like chronological development w ...more
It’s an interesting story to read and it covers all angles of how the two families were affected by being on one and the other side of ETA. Although the length helps to define very well the characters it felt a bit too long and I guess the author could have kept the story a bit shorter.
Anyway recommending to take the time and read it!
Viist the locations in the novel
This book has made an impression on me. One due to its sheer size – 581 large format pages and fairly small print, and the sheer scope of the novel itself. It aims to look at the Basque problem, the issue of terrorism of the country at large. That is one epic theme. Break it down into the involvement, opinions and experiences of two families and you start to understand the wealth of the journey the writer takes you on.
I almost didn’t read this as I’ve read so mu ...more
If you are looking to understand the community and how ETA affected lives, not only of members or victims, but of those around them, then this is a must read.
I´ve awarded 4 stars instead of 5 as there were points, that in my opinion, that could have been improved.
Given the length of the book, there were unnecessary chapters/characters tha ...more
Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. ...more
It goes little into motivations of ETA, but much more in how their actions and rationalisations affected the entire Basque region.