Translated by Josep Miquel Sobrer
A haunting classic of modern Catalan literature from one of Spain’s most prestigious writers
Extending from the prosperous Barcelona of the 1870s to the advent of the Franco dictatorship and the Spanish Civil War, A Broken Mirror traces three generations of a burgeoning aristocratic family at the turn of the 19th century.
When Salvador Valldaura first meets Teresa Goday he is seduced by her velvety eyes and contagious laughter. Valldaura, a wealthy diplomat, and Teresa, a widowed fishmonger’s daughter, marry and move into a grand, sprawling villa on the outskirts of Barcelona. In that house, their family flourishes and fractures across a century of change: from Teresa’s second husband and her secret, illegitimate son Masdéu, to daughter Sofía and Sofía’s playboy husband Eladi, and son, Ramon, tormented by a heinous act from his childhood and unknowingly in love with his half-sister, as well as several generations of servants, ghosts – and even a rodent.
Through a kaleidoscope of perspectives and turning upon events both intimate and historic, A Broken Mirror tells the story of a splintering matriarchal dynasty founded on love, lies, secrets, and betrayals.
‘Enchanting . . . A Nabokovian precision of observation.’ – Los Angeles Times
‘Rodoreda is a domestic existentialist, a brilliant composer of interiors, both physical and mental.’ – Nation
‘Captivating . . . Rodoreda reveals the inner life of her characters precisely and unsentimentally, often merely with a well-turned sentence. A beautifully muted and intricate rendering of the aristocracy of Barcelona.’ – Kirkus (starred review)
‘It is a total mystery to me why Rodoreda isn’t widely worshipped. Tremendous, tremendous writer.’ –John Darnielle, The Mountain Goats