A brilliant and poignant way of addressing mother-daughter relationships, eluding clichés.
What kind of daughter dares to speak the truth to her mother? It is required to turn to literature to do so, and also to question reality and, if necessary, to make it up. What could have turned out to be one of the happiest days in Marina’s life, the day of birth of her only daughter, became the start of a relationship that was far from exemplary. United by their timeless, atavistic belonging and, at the same time by some inescapable, terrifying detachment, mother and daughter will never understand each other.
After she comes back to the same city and the same flat where she used to live with her late mum, dead for years, the daughter tries to pick up the pieces of their life together. A handful of photographs, some objects and, overall, her experience as a daughter would lay the ground for the emergence of a lonesome and gleaming woman, the daughter of French migrants, with a working class background and a bourgeoisie sense of taste, pricked out into the grey Barcelona of the 1950s, who would see crumble her dream of becoming an actress; a mother quite mentally unbalanced, vivacious and depressive, sometimes seductive, others just cruel.
It challenges the established notion of mother’s love, a bond historically considered unquestionable. The result of it is both a private and universal tale of Gothic echoes, a clever essay on who we are, the things we conceal and about the limits of “truth” in writing.
BBVA Sant Joan Prize "for the brilliant and incisive way of addressing mother-daughter relationships, avoiding clichés.”