The Wrong Blood by Manuel De Lope
Translated by John Cullen
Publication Date: 2010
Source: eGalley provided by publisher through NetGalley
The Short Version:
In the Basque region of Spain at the time of the civil war, two women from markedly different backgrounds come together to help each other and keep a secret.
Why I Read It:
When I read about this book on the NetGalley site it sounded just so intriguing that I couldn’t resist.
The story takes place both at the time of the Spanish Civil war and many years later when the grandson of one of the two women returns to the family home to spend some time in quiet solitude to study for a legal examination. A lowly maid has inherited the home of her wealthy mistress and now plays host to the grandson.
At the same time that the events of the earlier time are revealed and the different circumstances of the two women plays out, the story of the grandson and his conversations with the friendly neighbor doctor are blended in.
To say much more about the plot would be difficult without giving away events that are better read in the way the author tells them.
This story doesn’t jump back and forth between time frames so much as it swirls in and out and back and forth. Even in translation the writing is hypnotic and beautiful. The story seems a bit slow paced and the ending is fairly clear from early on.
Because of the way the story moves back and forth in time it took me a while to adapt to the way it is told. Although I thought it was good, it was also frustrating in the way the reveal was no surprise at all long before it happened. Yet at the same time the writing and the way the story is told is intriguing and poetic. It was a book I took a long time to read because I had to immerse myself in the story whenever I sat down to read it.
Days later I’m still having a difficult time putting my feelings for this book into a concise few words. I both liked and disliked it and found it both fascinating and frustrating at the same time.
I think this might be a good book club book because of the way my mixed feelings about it make me want to discuss it with someone else who has read it.