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There is always hope

Author: Bruno Thursday 9 November 2023

It is my turn to talk about another book by Francesc Miralles, but this time for young people. This author began writing juvenile literature and has not abandoned this facet, for which he has also had many successes, such as his first book UN HAIKU PARA ALICIA, Gran Angular 2002 prize organized by the publishing house Cruïlla, or RETRUM, which mobilized buses of fans dressed in black for Francesc to sign the book. Francesc Miralles is truly a wise man in the world of literature and for this reason it is vital that he does not abandon young people, since novels like JOHANNA AND DR. FRANKL are the kind of novels which captivates the reader from the first line, that tell you about a time, in this case a hard time, and a post-war period, but always with a message of hope that, nowadays, all young people need because, talking to several experts in psychology and psychiatry, they have told us that what young people feel is hopelessness in this world. On the one hand, it does not seem strange to me, I can understand them very well, we have created expectations that are not true, and every time they hear some news about the world, if they stop to listen to it, they find a world adrift with two open wars and with a climate change that advances and that nobody wants to put the necessary measures to take care of the place where they should grow up.

However, there have always been turbulent times and they have been overcome, so this novel, simple, tender and hard at the same time, tells the story of Johanna who, although she lives a horrible situation, which cannot be worse, finds hope, thanks to two people she meets in her life by chance. Here is a short summary of this novel:

In 1948, after World War II, Vienna is in shambles. Food is scarce and jobs are hard to find. Sixteen-year-old Johanna aspires to Work as a waitress in a cafeteria; she must support her mother, who has been in depression since her father died at the front. When she is fired, the world falls on her. However, that same day a chance encounter with a psychiatrist who suffered Nazi persecution and with a young American who interviews her for an article will help her find the motivation to live.

I suppose that in Francesc’s DNA there is always an IKIGAI, that reason to get out of bed every day, and therefore a motivation to live and not lose hope. This novel was as one of the finalists for the Edebé prize and it was a pity that it did not win the award, but I hope that, equally, entering the school circuit, it will be a reading that motivates young people to see that light they need and to understand that problems are neither big nor small, everyone has their own and all are respectable, and that, unfortunately, there are extreme situations, such as a war, that no one would like to live through, but even after something as difficult as living through a war, the loss of a parent and not having money to eat, which exists and is real, there is always a path to build and a green light that awaits us on that path.

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