A Broken Mirror

Merce Rodoreda, Author, Josep Miquel Sobrer, Translator
Merce Rodoreda, Author, Josep Miquel Sobrer, Translator University of Nebraska Press $49.95 (218p) ISBN 978-0-8032-3963-0
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Paperback - 218 pages - 978-0-8032-9007-5
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The works of Catalan writer Rodoreda (The Time of the Doves) are difficult to find in English, and this translation will be particularly welcome to readers of Spanish and European literature. Set in Barcelona, this family saga spans six decades, from the 1870s to the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Teresa Goday, a beautiful young woman with humble origins and an illegitimate child to boot manages to marry a wealthy older man. When he dies she remarries and has a daughter, Sofia, who becomes the heir to Teresa's large estate, where Teresa also plays godmother to her illegitimate son Jesus Masdeu. Sofia marries once she also grows into an alluring woman, but adultery and its results are constant themes, as Sofia's philandering husband brings an illegitimate daughter, Maria, into the household to be reared alongside their sons as a ""cousin""-with tragic and haunting results. Murder, suicide, incest and class conflicts abound as the novel's short sections dip back and forth in time; what's impressive is Rodoreda's muted depiction of it all, rendered without authorial judgment.
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