Friday, July 25, 2014

Book Review: "Stone in a Landslide" by Maria Barbal

A powerful, heart-rending story told in Conxa's humble and impassive voice. Conxa is a simple Catalan peasant woman who accepts her crosses with grace, humility and stoicism.

The story is set in Catalonia, Spain in the early 1900s. There is no drama in her life. There is only simple everyday living in a farming community, sometimes pleasant, but at most times trying, until one day a fatal blow from above snatches her husband away. Even after the ordeal of being oppressed by those wielding power, Conxa knows she has no alternative but to go on living for her family's sake, and she does, with unfazed calmness. Life just goes on without drama.

Yet it is exactly the lack of drama and the tantalizing calmness that takes your breath away.

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