The Farewell Angel by Carmen Martin Gaite

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Synopsis

On the day he is released from prison in Madrid, Leonardo learns of his parents' death in a car crash. He returns to their empty town house, a rich young man now, but with a life to reconstruct out of fragments. At first all he wants is to be atone to took over books, diaries, and old photographs, the mute witnesses to his own childhood and his parents' wretched marriage. But in time he concentrates on the Quinta Blanca, the white house by the cuff edge where his grandmother used to nourish him on stories, especially Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen". When Leonardo revisits this childhood home at Christmas as the guest of its new owner, Casilda, he, too, has the sliver of ice removed from his heart by the one woman capable of doing so, and his own redemption is at hand.

The Farewell Angel is about storytelling, about the determining power of stories to harm and to heat. Centered around a lighthouse and the sea-washed rocks beneath it, this haunting novel is a triumph of subtle narrative by the prize-winning author of Variable Cloud.

 

About Carmen Martin Gaite

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Carmen was born in Salamanca. Her other novels include La Reina de Las Nieves, which won the Spanish national prize for literature.
 
Published January 1, 1999 by The Harvill Press. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

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This remarkably intricate 1994 novel by the veteran Spanish author (of, most recently, Variable Cloud, 1996) won her country’s National Prize for Literature.

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