Adultery is a controversial topic, partially because many people have cheated or been cheated on. In this collection of short stories, Millas opens our eyes to the different types of adultery, some of which we didn’t even know existed. Although most of the stories are only 2-3 pages long, it’s powerful in their own way. In one of the tales, an adulterer makes the following observation: “El adulterio, aunque da muchas satisfacciones, a la larga resulta agotador porque te obliga a vivir en un estado de vigilancia permanente”, which means: “Adultery, while it can be very satisfactory in many ways, in the long run, ends up being exhausting, because it makes you live in a state of permanent vigilance”. This line best encapsulates the act of adultery and the toll it takes.
I’ve had this book for a while, as it came out in 2003 but never got around to reading it until just now. I think sometimes for short stories, it’s hard to want to read a collection because, with novels, you get to follow the same characters during each book. However, I will say, I did enjoy this book and empathized with the victims, who were mostly women. Although I do recommend this book, if this topic triggers you, you might want to skip it. Additionally, I would not recommend this to high school students not only because of the risqué content, but the level of Spanish is also more advanced. If you’re a university student majoring in Spanish, I would advise waiting until you’re in your third or final year. Millas is a famous Spanish contemporary author, who is known for his novels and short stories. He has won several prestigious prizes, such as Premio Nadal, Premio Planeta, and Premio Nacional de Narrativa. Although this is the first time I’ve read his works, I am certainly intrigued and will certainly read more of his books in the future.