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Title: Castaways (original title: Náufragos)

Writer: Laura Pérez, Pablo Monforte (translated by Silvia Perea Labayen)

Publishing House: Dark Horse Books

Date of Publication: February 1st 2022 (first published November 2016)

Rating: 5 stars

‘’They were coming at me in waves. First, innocent memories, dreams, struggles, my own vacillating present, and then, sharp joys, sorrows, despair, a significant contraction of life, a negation into nothing.’’

    Carmen Laforet

Alejandra finds solace and comfort in the subway, taking in the strange pleasure of the daily routine. University life is a shelter and a volcano. The library and its sea of books provide the necessary escape, they are the air we breathe, and the most pleasant weight in our bags. Alejandra watches the passers-by and fantasizes about people’s lives in order to push her own reality aside.

Julio escapes his own mundane office routine by wandering in the city at night when its streets get under your skin and its lights point out every single mistake you’ve ever made. Once he wanted to be a writer. Now, he is empty. And a coward.

From Madrid during the 80s to Barcelona in the 90s, moving back and forth in time, this is a beautiful, sad story about obligations and relationships. About Love and the need to be brave. About Art, writing, and the need to ‘’express’’ yourself when you cannot utter certain things out loud. A story in which Dostoevsky’s White Nights meets El Puente de Toledo…

‘’You don’t know how much I’ve regretted not having any pictures of you. Not being able to trust my memory when I was forgetting your face.’’

Many thanks to Dark Horse Books and Edelweiss for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.