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‘A poet’s novel, delicate but strong’ Hilary Mantel
María and her granddaughter Alicia have never met. Decades apart, both make the same journey to Madrid in search of work and independence. María, scraping together a living as a cleaner and carer, sending money back home for the daughter she hardly knows; Alicia, raised in prosperity until her family tragedy, now trapped in a poorly paid job and a cycle of banal infidelities. Their lives are marked by precarity, and by the haunting sense of how things might have been different.
Through a series of arresting vignettes, Elena Medel weaves together a broken family’s story, stretching from the last years of Franco’s dictatorship to mass feminist protests in contemporary Madrid. Audacious, intimate and shot through with razor-edged lyricism, The Wonders is a revelatory novel about the many ways that lives are shaped by class, history and feminism: about what has changed for working class women, and what has remained stubbornly the same.