Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 14 October 2021

There are people that are born to vindicate, that do not settle, that have a fighter spirit for what they consider fair. However, the words equality and justice are two terms that, although we know their meaning, everyone can interpret in a free and different way and from different perspectives.

When I read the new Ana Alonso’s novel, her first novel for adults, I fell in love right away with Adela, a strong woman that was born in the working Barcelona and that fought for equality and for a more just world. She’s a teacher, a compulsive lector, seamstress to make a living and a single and imperfect mother.

The author places us at the end of the 1940’ decade. Without giving up the political and social criticism, she brings color to some years that we imagine in black and white, like the images from NODO.

The story begins in 1948, during the first years of the port-war. For Adela fitting in provincial León society, in the closed and suffocating of a village in the mountains or in the grey Madrid of debris, is painful. She doesn’t adapt to a life of suspicion, to be looked at the corner of one’s eyes or to always keep her guard up in front of informers while her people is consumed in the guerrilla or put on the Regime mask and ask for «special tea» in the more frequented coffee shops.

After all, she arrives to León because her life her life in the Pyrenees was truncated a day of the fateful year the war was lost. Adela never got to comprehend what happened that day. Until she starts to find answers in the least expected place: the pages of the romantic novel A stain of carmine. The hidden clues in the story seem to contain an invitation to get back the colors of that dreamed revolution. But which margin will the teacher victim of reprisal have left to fight por a better society?

Through Adela, Carmen, Mercedes, Federica Montseny or Gloria Fuertes, Ana Alonso brings us the corseted world of the women of the post-war era and to the white and black Spain from the 1940’s, full of secrets, masks, shown lies and hidden truths.

A story where the historic mark is part of the novel and feminism is what moves Adela to keep going with the help of reading, which is one of the key points of this to be directed towards being one of the novels that will captivate the female public in general because it mixes three of the ingredients that always work: strong woman, love and books. What are waiting for to read it?

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