Cipriano Algor, an ageing potter, lives with his daughter and her husband in the shadow of the Centre, a nebulous, constantly expanding conglomerate that provides his livelihood – until it decrees that it is no longer interested in his humble wares. Together with his daughter, they craft a new line of small ceramic figurines and, to their bafflement, the Centre orders vast quantities. But once the figures are complete, the Centre recants: there is no market for them. Resigned to idleness Cipriano moves into the soulless megaplex, until late one night he comes across a horrifying secret in the bowels of the artificial city.
What distinguishes the book is the concern Saramago breathes over his characters; like potter's clay, they are patiently moulded into their best shape, retaining soft marks of memory
A novel with impact... hope and charm
Saramago surprises us by bringing hos characters into close focus with his wise insights on the complexity of human relationships and the psychology of close family ties
There are certain writers who will deliver something special with each new book, and Jos- Saramago is one of them
Saramago resolves the story with the same charm that characterises the whole book...he advocates a simpler life based on family and 'the small miracles of love'. He does so with humility, but also with implacable conviction