From 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 Lulú
) 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.)
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"More Iberian ardour... focusing on the high passions an easterly wind provokes in the inhabitants of a small coastal town." FINANCIAL TIMES - SUMMER BOOKS "Most of this story is set in the past, as the events of the present are refracted through continual flashbacks of Juan and Sara's earlier lives - lives twinned in adversity. As the novel zigzags chronologically between its disparate episodes, the outlines of the new arrivals are steadily filled in with intense psychological detail... the dexterity with which Grandes is able to unpick psychological states makes for a convincing and moving book." THE TIMES "In her fifth novel, Grandes reaches the peak of her powers. This magnificent saga of shipwrecked lives grips from the first sentence and weaves parallel intrigues of memory and survival, money and revenge, resolved only in the closing pages... Here, she has perfected her ability to leap between stories and epochs." -- ELIZABETH NASH THE INDEPENDENT 'Into the rich mix Grandes throws some classic ingredients of fairytales and fables... This is a big novel, designed to fill a Spanish summer - and they get longer holidays than us. Grandes never lets the pace slacken, combining a cracking story with convincing characterisation and good detail.' -- MIRANDA FRANCE DAILY TELEGRAPH "classy blockbuster material of a sort - a layered saga of familylife, rivalry and redemption...an interesting alternative to the homegrown bestseller market. As a study of obsessive passions and climatic conditions, it makes for a sweeping beach read." -- JOANNA BRISCOE THE GUARDIAN "Many of her books have been turned into films and she has a cinematic style that relies on the visual sense and on dialogue... The writing is impressively measured... this more mature novel is impressive in the way it develops and sustains Juan's and Sara's parallel stories, accommodates numerous characters and interweaves counter themes." MSLEXIA "This novel confirms Almudena Grandes as one of Spain's leading writers... This is a hugely intelligent, wise novel. It also tells a gripping story... The Wind From the East has universal significance." SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "Plenty of passion in this huge, florid romance. There's an absorbing small-town soap opera at its core." THE SATURDAY AGE, MELBOURNE "combines the traditions of classic epic narration of the nineteenth century with those of a modern contemporary novel. It is, in both senses, a great book." EL PAIS "Originally written in Spanish, it doesn't seem to lose anything in translation, and has that quality typical of good Latin writing; detailed, vivid and colourful imagery and still retaining a simplicity and rawness, making it entertaining and believable at the same time." FREEMANTLE HERALD, PERTH "This big, juicy saga is perfect for chilly nights. Thrilling and toe-curling in equal measure. This is Grandes' second novel following her successful The Ages of Lulu. She's now a fixture on my holiday reading list" SUNDAY TIMES, PERTH