The Wind from the East: A Novel

The Wind from the East: A Novel

by Almudena Grandes
     
 

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Internationally celebrated author Almudena Grandes has produced her finest work yet with The Wind from the East, a blend of two narratives set alternately in Madrid and an Andalusian town by the sea. Sara Gómes Morales,given up at birth to be raised by her wealthy godmother,is betrayed on her sixteenth birthday when she is forced to leave her godmother’s

Overview

Internationally celebrated author Almudena Grandes has produced her finest work yet with The Wind from the East, a blend of two narratives set alternately in Madrid and an Andalusian town by the sea. Sara Gómes Morales,given up at birth to be raised by her wealthy godmother,is betrayed on her sixteenth birthday when she is forced to leave her godmother’s home and return to live in poverty with her estranged parents. Tortured by resentment and the loneliness of belonging to neither place,she finds solace as an adult only when she moves to the coastal town.
Parallel to Sara’s story is the story of Juan and Damian Olmedo, brothers in love with the same woman. One night an argument incited by jealousy leads Damian to stumble down a flight ofstairs and fall to his death. Suspected ofmurdering his younger brother, Juan flees to the same village that served as Sara’s escape. Deftly engaging, The Wind from the Eastis an epic tale of love and redemption. Almudena Grandes' writing has been compared to the work of classic and contemporary voices such as the Brontë sisters and Isabel Allende.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sara Gomez Morales, 53, moves from Madrid to an Andalusian resort town to buy a house on a beach and do nothing. Her new neighbors include Juan Olmedo, a 40-year-old orthopedic surgeon fleeing Madrid for his own reasons. Flashbacks, which abound from early on, reveal that Sara was born poor in Madrid, but was raised by her rich godmother. As a young woman, Sara falls in love with and becomes pregnant by the married Vicente Gonzalez de Sandoval, a wealthy socialist, but she loses the child, and refuses to marry him when he divorces his wife. Years later, he helps her defraud her godmother of millions. Meanwhile, Juan's flashbacks center on his obsessive love for his deceased sister-in-law, Charo, and his sibling rivalry with his deceased brother, Damian. In the present, there's Maribel, the poorly educated cleaning woman both Sara and Juan look down upon (even as she becomes Sara's friend and Juan's lover), as well as Juan's 10-year-old niece, Tamara, and profoundly retarded brother, Alfonso. Grandes (The Ages of Lul ) sets it all up fascinatingly, but Sara's past seems disconnected from who she is today, and sloppy writing (or translation) obscures the rest. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sinuous saga by Spanish novelist Grandes (The Ages of Lulu, 1994, etc.) pursues a tangle of apartment-house relationships in an Andalusian seaside town. The arrival of the ill-fated Olmedo family from Madrid arouses the interest of residents in a new upper-middle-class housing development located on the outskirts of a popular tourist resort. Among them is 53-year-old Sara G-mez, the overprotected unmarried daughter of a captain in Franco's army, also from Madrid. The new family, Sara learns from her cleaner, Maribel, consists of 40-ish orthopedic doctor Juan Olmedo, his retarded brother Alfonso and their ten-year-old niece Tamara, whose parents died in separate accidents within months of each other. Trying to make a new life for them in the pleasant town besieged by dangerous, changing east-west winds, Juan sends Tamara to school and secures daycare for Alfonso. Meanwhile, Maribel, divorced and lovelorn, with her own ten-year-old in tow, begins working for the doctor. Lonely Juan is still recovering from the death of his sister-in-law; he was passionately in love with Charo both before and after she married his brother Damian. Extensive flashbacks reveal each character's secrets. Juan is fleeing potential prosecution for his brother's death: He was with Damian at the time of the accident, but claims he did not push his brother down the stairs in anger. Sara, who has just sold her godmother's Madrid apartment for a monstrous sum, contemplates a reunion with the love of her life, father of her miscarried child. Fleshy, uneducated Maribel shakes off her hard-luck past (a no-good Lothario for a first husband) and, to the surprise of everyone, beds the needy doctor himself. Grandes'sserenely composed, ponderous work celebrates the healing power of friendship. It's long-running, but ultimately satisfying.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781583229569
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Publication date:
01/04/2011
Sold by:
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
577 KB

Meet the Author

ALMUDENA GRANDES’s Las Edades de Lulu (The Ages of Lulu) won the Sonrisa Vertical Prize for erotic fiction and was made into a film starring Javier Bardem. Grandes’s novel Los Aires Difíciles debuted in the number one spot on Spanish bestseller lists when it was published in 2002, and remained on the lists for five months. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages.

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