In her Absence is a nice study in contrasts, and Muñoz Molina presents these two mismatched mates and their backstory very well. The way the story unfolds gives it an air of mystery as well, hinting at parts of what happened all along the way, but only putting all the pieces together as the novel comes to its conclusion. There's something artificial about this story arc, twisted out of shape as it is (this -- in this order -- isn't how one would expect this particular domestic tale to be recounted), but it does allow Muñoz Molina to slowly fill out his portrait of the couple, and it's this he does very well.Highly!
In her Absence is an unlikely but still very appealing love story, and a rich characters-study. Muñoz Molina's writing is a pleasure to read, and he's fashioned a small but agreeable little novel here. Recommended.
29 December 2008
Mario's elusive Blanca
Oh the joys of vacation reading! I picked up a copy of En ausencia de Blanca in Cartagena last January but have only now gotten around to reading it, thanks to A.'s unreserved enthusiasm for it (a link to a PDF of the first chapter of the Spanish original can be found here). Here's a bit from Mr. Orthofer's excellent review of the English translation by Esther Allen: