Stranded

Esther Tusquets, Author, Susan E. Clark, Translator Dalkey Archive Press $19.95 (230p) ISBN 978-0-916583-83-5
While there is much to admire in Tusquets's elegant prose and the finely wrought interior world of her characters, this third novel of a trilogy ( Love Is a Solitary Game ; The Same Sea as Every Summer ) lacks dramatic tension and cohesiveness; readers may have to flip to the Afterword to understand much of the plot. Eva, her husband, Pablo, and their friend Elia spend their vacation at a resort town on the Costa Brava, just as they have for many years. This summer, however, the strain on their friendship is palpable. Elia's husband, Jorge, has left her, and Eva has invited a troubled, sexually abused teenager named Clara to visit. Clara's desperate obsession with Eva, and as Elia's unrelenting bitterness about Jorge, anchor the work in pain. Tusquets, a well-known Spanish feminist writer, explores the shades of despair that overwhelm all three women, especially when Pablo takes a lover half his age. Elia gradually works through the desolation attending the end of her marriage and her unrealistic expectations of her husband, and the novel ends on a more hopeful note. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
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