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Author: Sandra Bruna Thursday 30 November 2017

Every year, when Christmas is around the corner, the streets are decorated with fairy lights, shop windows full of Christmas trees, red decorations and pearl white snow I get nostalgic and, at the same time, I get excited to spend Christmas with my family. I cannot deny in my family we thoroughly enjoy these holidays, we’ve always been together, and even though some people are not with us in the dining table anymore, we still know how to enjoy them. I must admit there has been a change, I blame maturity, when you know that magic we adored when we were kids, is not so magical, but it is really nice what we are committed to do in order to maintain that magic and illusion for the younger ones, and even the older ones, who still believe there is something especially magic about Christmas. At the same time you accept some things will change because the family gets bigger and gets smaller almost at the same time. However, it is somehow nice to miss those who are not here anymore, remember them and love them as if they were still here with us, and it is nice to see how we are still growing stronger together, sharing that same illusion with the younger generations and that unity that, hopefully, we will forever keep. Life warns us, we must pay attention to those warnings, and this year, more than ever, we will have an amazing Christmas Holiday, all together.

In contrast, Martín y Marga, the characters in Óscar Rojo’s novel, fifteen and twelve years old, are not able to spend and enjoy the wonderful Christmas Holidays, as many other people. Some people because they do not like the Holidays, and it is their choice therefore it is completely understandable, and other people because they actually can’t, as our two main characters. They are orphan and decide to leave their home town to go to Madrid in order to find and meet their biological father, but when they reach their destination, because of a succession of misfortunes, they are abandoned in the cold winter, with nothing but their company. An indigent shows them how to survive in the streets… EL PUENTE DE LOS TESOROS is the tough and touching odyssey of two siblings that fight to survive in a hostile world in which interest and degradation rule. They, for sure, don’t have the time to think about Christmas, since the author portrays the other side of Christmas, how the homeless experience this time of the year in the big cities, and that, sometimes being homeless in inherited, but the majority of times it is not so, although the majority of us do not believe you can reach the top and fall down towards misery the following day.

Through this novel we discover it is not so, since this subworld is full of lucrative businesses and corrupt mafias. Thankfully, there is also nice people determined to help, but not forgetting that the survival animal instinct which uses the awkwardest of things as living down a bridge chosen by people to commit suicide, just to keep the elements they will not use anymore, is very present. A strong and powerful novel, perhaps not very Christmassy, but charming and, I think, highly recommendable since it is, indeed, the narration of a personal triumph and success by which the bond between two siblings is vital to keep going, no matter what. A wonderfully written story that hangs you by how well written it is and how lovely it is described. Congratulations, Óscar, for this wonderful first publication.

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