TO MY SCOTTISH FRIEND
Maria Barbal Is classic contemporary writter and the author of Stone in a Landslide will travel back to the Lleida Pyrenees in her upcoming novel, It will be published in February during the pre-campaign for Sant Jordi 2019.
To My Scottish Friend is a story about friendship, love, war, memory, and regret. All of these themes come to bear on the life of Benet, whose quiet sensitivity to the world around him and struggle to work out what he wants in life as the years wear on make him an endearing, relatable protagonist. We follow Benet from the cradle to the battlefield and beyond, watching him grow and navigate the various hurdles of both war and peacetime. To My Scottish Friend is written with such tenderness and charm that, by the end of the novel, we cannot help but feel as close to Benet as if we had known him all our lives.
Part of what makes the story of To My Scottish Friend so unique is the way it is told by Barbal. We view Benet’s life not through the eyes of a single narrator, but of several: his family, his acquaintances, an anonymous narrator, and his Scottish friend. We also hear from Benet himself, through excerpts of his letters and his diary scattered throughout the novel. The end result is a fascinating collage of different viewpoints on Benet’s life and character, making Barbal’s novel a varied and thoroughly enjoyable read.