Eighteen-year old Andrea moves to Barcelona to stay with relatives she has not seen in years while she pursues her dreams of studying at university. Arriving in the dead of night she discovers not the independence she craves, but a crumbling apartment and an eccentric collection of misfits whose psychological ruin and violent behaviour echoes that of the recent civil war.
As the tension between the family members grows in claustrophobic intensity, Andrea finds comfort in a friendship with Ena, a girl from university whose guilded life only serves to highlight the squalor of Andrea's own experiences. But what is the secret of the relationship between between Ena and Andrea's predatory uncle Roman, and what future can lie ahead for Andrea in such a bizarre and disturbing world?
Born in Barcelona in 1921, Carmen Laforet spent her childhood in Las Palmas until, like the heroine of her novel, she returned to her native city to attend university. Her first novel Nada (Nothing) was published in 1945. She died in Madrid in 2004.
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