sábado, 13 de julio de 2013

'Patchy clouds', a novel by Carmen Martín Gaite

(Spanish version here*To my English readers: I apologize for every mistake. Please be aware I am a Spanish writer who translates what you have asked for. ('The Guardian' published her obituary here)

Pegasus over Kefalonia sky (picture taken
from Ithaca island).
The novel Patchy Clouds, one of the most important works of the Spanish writer Carmen Martín Gaite (1925-2000), is a moving story about friendship, broken dreams, family life, love and freedom. I have read this book several times through the years and I think the main reason it has such an impact on me is because the wide range of feelings, emotions and universal desires the book explores.

'Nubosidad variable'
(Spanish edition).
The main characters of Patchy Clouds (Nubosidad variable in Spanish) are Sofia Montalvo and Mariana Leon, close friends since their childhood. They meet again in a painting exhibition after being separated for thirty years. Their lives couldn’t be more different: a married housewife with two emancipated children (Sofia) and an eminent psychiatrist who lives alone (Mariana).

Following their fortuitous encounter, the two friends start sending letters to each other. That’s the way the reader finds out what happened in the past and what argument took them apart for so many years.

Martin Gaites’s style is clear, intimate and moving in some descriptions of the nature of human beings. Their protagonists are strong women that don’t hesitate to show their naked, raw emotions, all of them described in a memorable and eloquent style.
Spanish writer Carmen Martín
Gaite (1925-2000).
Some critics point out this novel as a “feminist book”, but it is not; not really. Maybe this novel can be seen as a “feminist” because of its female perspective about female issues, but the plot and characters of Patchy Clouds can attract readers of all ages and conditions. In the end, this book is a brilliant piece of work that shows it’s never too late to say “I am sorry”. The universe of Sofia and Mariana is full of sincerity and authenticity. No reader will remain indifferent travelling through this sea of infinite emotions. I fervently recommend it!!! Even if you have to use the Google Translator for the reading.  

P. S. Carmen Martín Gaite died on 23 July 2000. She was 74 years old. So young to die! She was one of the most smiley faces on the annual Madrid Book Fair, with his white hair and colorful caps, always faithful to the encounter with her readers. Thirteen years later, we still miss you Carmen.

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