Gemma RUIZ


62 / Proa, September 2016


Spain/Consonni; France/Balzac


«Ruiz is straightforward and direct, fluid and deft, straight-forward and natural in the way her plot unfolds, no-holds-barred when it comes to capturing the reader’s attention  [...] and wise enough to tug on the heart strings with restraint, while never testing the reader’s patience.»
Ponç Puigdevall, El País

«Her care with language is seductive (…) She reveals the rawness of feelings with modesty and discretion, but, at the same time, knows how to present a situation or exceptional character in the most magnificent way.»
Jacinto Antón, El País

«An extraordinary debut novel, nearly perfect. The novel contains a very personal autobiographical element that runs deeply throughout the work and provides it with a strong feeling of fervour and genuineness (…) A living and breathing work, a moving, comitted, intense, deep and perfect novel.»
Sam Abrams, El Mundo

« The truth of history as it was lived in the flesh.»
Pere Gimferrer

« A monumental work. A feast of language, about a time when all things had a name.»
Xavier Antich


Argelagues portrays these women’s struggles to adapt in the aftermath of the textile revolution, the transition from life in the country to life in a city where industrialisation is in full swing and, above all, the changes felt in everyday family life. An homage to the efforts of so many women to adapt in the wake of the textile revolution and the harsh transition from rural life to an industrial world, a tale of war, fear, invisibility and a society in thrall to men. The historical backdrop illuminates a novel its author dedicates to “all those women whom fathers, brothers, men, bosses, the church and history have sought to silence”.

The events and voices speak for themselves, staking a claim for the pivotal role played by women in the ever-changing society of the 20th century.

An epic, stirring tale of three generation of women, as well as an homage that was long overdue.