Carmen Martin Gaite

The Farewell Angel
  • The Farewell Angel

  • "A Proustian journey into the interior, a dazzling psychodrama and, arguably, one of the best novels out of Spain in recent decades" Kirkus Reviews

    On the day he is released from prison in Madrid, Leonardo learns of his parents' death in a car crash. He returns to their empty town house, a rich young man now, but with a life to reconstruct out of fragments. At first all he wants is to be atone to took over books, diaries, and old photographs, the mute witnesses to his own childhood and his parents' wretched marriage. But in time he concentrates on the Quinta Blanca, the white house by the cuff edge where his grandmother used to nourish him on stories, especially Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen".

    When Leonardo revisits this childhood home at Christmas as the guest of its new owner, Casilda, he, too, has the sliver of ice removed from his heart by the one woman capable of doing so, and his own redemption is at hand.

    The Farewell Angel is about storytelling, about the determining power of stories to harm and to heat. Centered around a lighthouse and the sea-washed rocks beneath it, this haunting novel is a triumph of subtle narrative by the prize-winning author of Variable Cloud.

Carmen Martin Gaite (1925 - 2000) was one of Spain's most distinguished novelists; in 1978, she was awarded the Spanish National Prize for Literature. Her novels Living's the Strange Thing and The Fallen Angel were also published by Harvill.