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Maria and Alicia are a grandmother and granddaughter who have never met. Decades apart, both are drawn to Madrid in search of work and independence. Maria, scraping together a living as a cleaner and carer, sending money back home for the daughter she hardly knows; Alicia, raised in prosperity until her family was brought low by tragedy, now trapped in a low-paid job and a cycle of banal infidelities. Their lives are marked by precarity, and by the haunting sense of how things might have been different.
Through a series of arresting vignettes, Elena Medel weaves together a broken family’s story, stretching from the last years of Franco’s dictatorship to the 2018 Spanish Women’s Strike. Audacious, intimate and shot through with sharp-edged lyricism, The Wonders is a revelatory novel about the many ways that lives are shaped by class, history and feminism; about what has changed for working-class women, and what has remained stubbornly the same.
Imprint: PUSHKIN PRESS
Publication date: 03/03/2022