This book is from my favorite Spanish author, Lucía Extebarria. In fact, this book made me decide to pursue a Master’s degree in Hispanic Literature. I took a Contemporary Spanish Literature class, and this was the first novel we read. Before this class, I only read literature between the 13th and 19th century. It was refreshing to finally read a novel about characters existing in the same timeframe as me. It takes place in Madrid, Spain, with three sisters who are very different: Cristina, Rosa, and Ana, but throughout the story, we learn how similar they really are.
All three narrate the story, but the main character (and narrator) is Cristina, who is the youngest and most definitely the wildest. She is a bartender at one of the hotspots in the city for drug dealers and it’s one of the many perks of the job that she enjoys regularly. She is free-spirited, enjoys one-night stands and over time, we learn why she is the way she is with men. We also slowly understand why she abuses her body by constantly poisoning it with alcohol and drugs: self-esteem. Like her sister Ana (but for different reasons), she suffers from self-esteem issues, but in very different ways. And then there’s Rosa: the workaholic that spent her childhood locked in her room studying and her twenties locked in her office working 60+ hours per week.
While their stories are related yet told separately, they converge at the very end. This book is bold, daring and very provocative. It’s racy, it’s edgy and like the title suggests, it dives into love, sex, drugs, and doubts about life choices and what made them make certain decisions. This self-reflection piece is pertinent to the plot
Although she’s a contemporary writer, most of her books published in the early 2000’s and hence it is a bit challenging to buy her books if you’re not on Kindle. However, your best bet is to find it on Amazon. Most of her books don’t seem to be translated in English, and hence I would only recommend this book to any natives or those studying advanced Spanish in college. I read this my senior year and I thought it was the appropriate level and age to read it. After having reread it last month, I still stand by that statement. However, after having read other novels of hers (more recommendations on those to come), I thought this was the perfect book to start, as you start understanding her writing, her characters, and the common theme that is woven through many of her novels. If this is of any interest to you, pick up a copy today!