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The Wrong Blood Manuel de Lope s The Wrong Blood, is tough to review without giving up the ghost, literally.It is the story of three people bound by a series of shared spawned by the Fascists deathly advance through the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War Situated for a few passages at the front, the novel mostly broods in the enclosed worlds of two houses on the coast Los Sauces and Las Cruces In one of them live two victims of the conflict, in the other a lame doctor, whose affliction allows Manuel de Lope s The Wrong Blood, is tough to review without giving up the ghost, literally.It is the story of three people bound by a series of shared spawned by the Fascists deathly advance through the Basque Country during the Spanish Civil War Situated for a few passages at the front, the novel mostly broods in the enclosed worlds of two houses on the coast Los Sauces and Las Cruces In one of them live two victims of the conflict, in the other a lame doctor, whose affliction allows him to escape the generalized carnage, yet still be affected by its perversionsThe young lawyer Goitia, looking for a place to study, returns to his childhood home at Las Cruces whic his deceased mother has left to her life long house servant, Maria Antonia.The biggest secret is revealed to the reader at the three quarter mark, though not necessarily to the young lawyer But his rare visit, coupled with the advancing age of the doctor and the house servant, provide a last chance to rewrite a small history, and the tension to keep from, or unleash upon him the truths they know, form the crux of the conflict Between them, De Lope notes, the doctor and the old woman could awaken the inexistent memory of young Goitia, assuming that young Goitia had any interest in the stories the old woman and the doctor could tell him The path toward that resolution is dominated by an unnamed narrator with no dog in the fight being covered The action and exchanges between principal characters are employed to sparing effect Most of the narrative progress is unspoken, but latent in the air each character is sharing air rife with narrator s presentiments and ornate musings The Wrong Blood, is mostly back story, the young man s arrival provoking the powerful flood of memories that had overflowed the sluice gates It is a running commentary on what the trio have endured, what they are thinking at any given moment in the history a history not presented chronologically, rather leapfrogging back and forth along the line of time The author s focus is trained mostly on ambience, on environment, on the oppressive realities that precede each character s birth There are not very many choices available to these people, and still less offering a dignified path.The liner notes for this Other Press addition quote Gabriel Garcia Marquez deeming De Lope s work, a celebration of our language Since that language is Spanish, the consumer of the English language effort must take the master at his word Or at least the word of translator John Cullen who teases a wide vocabulary, a rich thicket of words, and somber palette out of whatever De Lope intended In the opening passages, the author depicts the roses of 1936 to be plump as wet nurses breast Later, in a passagecharacteristic of, than exception to, The Wrong Blood, De Lope writes that, The curtains of rain in the distant, dull gray clouds bursting over the sea filled her with nostalgia, because, for her, the weeping of the heavens was the ultimate poetical sensation, and nothing compared with the lyrical emotions of abandonment and dispossession that the rain promised In this fashion does the omnipresent narrator mostly hold forth on details and objects surrounding, giving them prior lives, symbolic charges casting them as witnesses to both a tragedy and a forced permutation in an otherwise natural order by class and the war s outcome These can be historical details, the product of fine research, such as the strange straw wraps used in those days to cover champagne bottles with a kind of cape or hood that protected the glass, or much broader and social in aspect Describing how the ill fated Captain Herraiz and his bride Isabel made it work, the writer observes, It was said that certain in those years were happy, cautious, and dissolute, and those terms included everything that a judicious and seductive mixture of good breeding and carnality entailed If this novel is back story, it is also a tale of the rearguard, of noncombatants flailing about in a great and sudden disruption Del Lope conjures it as a place no less harrowing than the front Forthan power and money, the meaning of each being upended by the times, it is the war which forces the hope killing obligation to compromise one highest aspirations The doctor, by way of example, settles for the peace of the weak and the just, and it granted him the tranquility of opening the gate and limping back to his house to pour himself of cognac There was no sadder peace than that The Wrong Blood opens in a small Basque village at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, alternating between 1930s Spain to present This is the first book of de Lope s to be translated into English, and I am eager to readLiterary and exquisite. In The Basque Country In Northern Spain, Just Before The Civil War, Three Men In Dinner Suits Stop For A Drink At A Bar Before Continuing On Their Way To A Wedding Their Trip Is Interrupted When Their Leader, The Wealthy Don Leopoldo, Has A Stroke In The RestroomThis Event, Bizarre And Undignified Though It Is, Begins To Weave Together The Lives Of Two Remarkable Women The Bride, The Beautiful And Distinguished Isabel Cruces, And Mar A Antonia Etxarri, The Bar Owner S Adolescent Daughter Shortly After The Outbreak Of The War, Mar A Antonia Is Raped And Isabel S Newlywed Husband, Captain Julen Herraiz, Is Shot Both Women Find Themselves Violently Altered, Alone, And Pregnant A Crippled But Wise Local Doctor Is The Only Witness To The Mysterious, Silent Agreement These Women Conclude In The Loneliness And Desperation Of Their Mutual Suffering Many Years Later, A Young Student, Grandson To Isabel, Returns To The Scene Of The Events To Spend An Innocent Summer Studying For Law Exams As He Goes About His Work, He Unwittingly Awakens The Ghosts Haunting Both Mar A Antonia And The Doctor, And Through Their Memories The Passionate Stories Of The Past Unfurl Before The Reader De Lope Brilliantly Reveals His Incredible Story Through Flashes Of Memory And Emotion, Told In A Winding Torrent That Expresses The Cumulative Nature Of Both History And Nostalgia When I started to read this book I was worried that I d tackled it too soon after reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver The Wrong Blood was also a steak of a book and Manuel de Lope created a beautifully written story that translated incredibly well.The story centers are three main people, Maria Antonia Etxarri, the daughter of a former innkeeper from a nearby town Dr Felix Castro, a young, crippled doctor and Isabel Cruces Herraiz, the bride and later widow of a young officer, all li When I started to read this book I was worried that I d tackled it too soon after reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver The Wrong Blood was also a steak of a book and Manuel de Lope created a beautifully written story that translated incredibly well.The story centers are three main people, Maria Antonia Etxarri, the daughter of a former innkeeper from a nearby town Dr Felix Castro, a young, crippled doctor and Isabel Cruces Herraiz, the bride and later widow of a young officer, all living in the village of Hondarribia.Miguel Goitia, a young notary student law arrives and stays at his grandmother s inn and, with his arrival, all three characters are pulled in to the story with a common bond.Like I mentioned previously, the writing is truly a beautiful thing The story, although confusing as the players are set in place, everything is put into place with a precision that took my breath away.There were a few aspects of the book that disappointed me, I was able to see through some of the plot advancements, but overall a worthwhile read and another book to put on my favorites of translated literature The Wrong Blood is a beautifully written and translated novel by Spanish author Manuel de Lope Set in both the dark days of the Spanish Civil War and in current day Spain, the story slowly rolls out of two women, both greatly affected by the war and the aftermath A wealthy young bride, who loses her husband in the war, and a lowly born servant, Isabel and Maria Antonia, live a life together with the daughter of one of the women The grandson who comes to live with the women in the present, h The Wrong Blood is a beautifully written and translated novel by Spanish author Manuel de Lope Set in both the dark days of the Spanish Civil War and in current day Spain, the story slowly rolls out of two women, both greatly affected by the war and the aftermath A wealthy young bride, who loses her husband in the war, and a lowly born servant, Isabel and Maria Antonia, live a life together with the daughter of one of the women The grandson who comes to live with the women in the present, hears of the women from an old doctor who has been their neighbor for seventy or so years Blood is slowly paced The beautiful language rolls out and as long as the reader is not expecting much in the way of a plot, the book is a gem It was my great pleasure to work on this stunning book The key is to surrender to the prose, wade into the descriptions, and let the story unfold in its slow, magnificent way. This book was just okay I figured out what the entire secret was very early on and I felt the pacing to be excruciatingly slow I don t know if this was something that was because of the translation or if it was just the nature of the plot The setting and character building was well done and very melancholic and dreamy, which kept me just interested enough to see how it would play out A very meditative piece on the passage of time, how the past can haunt you and the secrets people keep bo This book was just okay I figured out what the entire secret was very early on and I felt the pacing to be excruciatingly slow I don t know if this was something that was because of the translation or if it was just the nature of the plot The setting and character building was well done and very melancholic and dreamy, which kept me just interested enough to see how it would play out A very meditative piece on the passage of time, how the past can haunt you and the secrets people keep both from themselves and each other There isn t really much of a plot, but the plot that is there plays out exactly how you think it will Except there is no real explanation of the arrangement between Maria and Isabel It s readable, but not what I would call gripping or compelling. The Wrong Blood is the story of two women of different classes in Spain s Basque country Maria Antonia Etxarri, the young daughter of a local innkeeper and Isabel Cruces Hernandez, who comes from a family of wealth and influence During the Spanish Civil War 1936 1939 , their individual tragedies unexpectedly bring and then bind them together for the rest of their lives Isabel falls in love with and marries an army captain, who is killed shortly afterwards, leaving behind not only Isabel but The Wrong Blood is the story of two women of different classes in Spain s Basque country Maria Antonia Etxarri, the young daughter of a local innkeeper and Isabel Cruces Hernandez, who comes from a family of wealth and influence During the Spanish Civil War 1936 1939 , their individual tragedies unexpectedly bring and then bind them together for the rest of their lives Isabel falls in love with and marries an army captain, who is killed shortly afterwards, leaving behind not only Isabel but her unborn child Maria Antonia, only a teenager, is raped when a group of soldiers take shelter at her father s inn The local doctor, Felix Castro, is the central figure connecting them both In the present, Miguel Goitia, law student and Isabel s grandson, is spending time at his grandmother s estate which now belongs to Maria Antonia , a sanctuary of peace and quiet while he is preparing for his bar exam His very presence there brings out memories of old wartime secrets that Miguel is not privy to and Castro is torn between telling him the truth about things or letting old memories lie dormant It is also a story about loss, grief, the nature of class distinction, and as Dave Boling, author of Guernica and one of the blurbers wrote, about human survival at desperate times In terms of the writing, the direction of the plotline is a bit obvious once you begin reading, but that hardly matters in the long run I only rarely find an author whose prose is so eloquent that I want to read the book again just to appreciate its beauty And considering this is a translated version, well, I can only imagine how absolutely wonderful it must be in the original Spanish The story is paced very well it starts a bit slow, setting the overall tone immediately, while allowing the reader to absorb and appreciate small details that might otherwise be overlooked The sense of time and place is evoked largely through the use of flashbacks, which take the reader seamlessly and skillfully through the hardships of war into the present and back again, without causing any interruption to the overall flow of the story It is a book that will you find difficult to put down until the very end.I recommend this novel to people who enjoy Spanish novels in translation, and who truly appreciate the beauty of the written word It s definitely not a book for those who want something quick and easy, nor is it an action packed novel that once you ve read you ll forget, like so much fiction that s out there on bookstore shelves at the moment It s a book to be enjoyed slowly and kept on your shelf to visit again some day This is really a 1.5 rating, but I can t in good conscience give it the same number of stars that I have 50 Shades of Grey, so, whatevs.There s no doubt that this is a beautifully written book Full of poignant observations about life and such Definitely flowery and could have should have been toned down A lot.But there s an obvious problem with this book there s no conflict Nothing actually happens The book tells the story of two women whose lives were drastically and irrevocably impacted This is really a 1.5 rating, but I can t in good conscience give it the same number of stars that I have 50 Shades of Grey, so, whatevs.There s no doubt that this is a beautifully written book Full of poignant observations about life and such Definitely flowery and could have should have been toned down A lot.But there s an obvious problem with this book there s no conflict Nothing actually happens The book tells the story of two women whose lives were drastically and irrevocably impacted during the Spanish Civil War That sentence, while factually true, makes the book sound farinteresting than it ever was In reality the book meanders through flowery language until you ve forgotten who you re reading about, and by the time the author lets you know that something has occurred or is about to occur, you ve long stopped caring because you were reading purple prose instead of character development.This review sounds harsh, and I don t intend for it to be, but the book definitely misses a crucial element of what makes a story a story, ya know I m fully willing to concede that the art of storytelling is different in Spain this is a Spanish book translated for us folks across the pond , but that didn t make me enjoy it any


About the Author: Manuel de Lope

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Wrong Blood book, this is one of the most wanted Manuel de Lope author readers around the world.


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