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Cry, Mother Spain

On sale

4th May 2017

Price: £9.99

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Selected: Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780857054524

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Aged fifteen, as Franco’s forces begin their murderous purges and cities across Spain rise up against the old order, Montse has never heard the word fascista before. In any case, the villagers say facha (the ch is a real Spanish ch, by the way, with a real spit).

Montse lives in a small village, high in the hills, where few people can read or write and fewer still ever leave. If everything goes according to her mother’s plan, Montse will never leave either. She will become a good, humble maid for the local landowners, muchísimas gracias, with every Sunday off to dance the jota in the church square.

But Montse’s world is changing. Her brother José has just returned from Lérida with a red and black scarf and a new, dangerous vocabulary and his words are beginning to open up new realms to his little sister. She might not understand half of what he says, but how can anyone become a maid in the Burgos family when their head is ringing with shouts of Revolución, Comunidad and Libertad?

The war, it seems, has arrived in the nick of time.


Jéròme Garcin, BibliObs
Lydie Salvayre orchestrates her story like a true maestro
Sebastian Lapaque, Figaro
The great originality of this novel ... is the blending of the universal and personal experiences of the Spanish Civil War
François Busnel, Express
A turbulent, magnificent novel that shines a new light on the Spanish Civil War. It resonates with the power of a manifesto for modern times
Philippe Lançon, Libération
Lydie Salvayre has cultivated a resounding anger... Cry, Mother Spain is the novel and the tribute of an impassioned voice
Jean Birnbaum, Le Monde
Lydie Salvayre creates a dynamic harmony in a language that elevates grit, heroism and beauty
Fran G. Matute, El Mundo
A magnificent novel. A brilliantly written family saga and a mesmerising study of memory and historical reconstruction
Mercedes Monmay, ABC Cultural
Lydie Salvayre has written a novel about the Spanish Civil War unlike any other. Her approach gives her story an astonishing power and a unique perspective
Josep Lambies, Time Out Barcelona
A seriously important novel ... The novel Pasolini would have written had he been the son of Spanish exiles
David Mills, The Sunday Times
Impressive ... an effective account of a hideous time of brutal politics and the desperate compromises many made to make life possible
Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
An extraordinary book . . . very powerful