May 29, 2011

The Goldsmith's Secret, by Elia Barceló

The Goldsmith's Secret, by Elia Barceló on Goodreads

Release Date: March 31st, 2011, UK
Age Group: Adult
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Overall: 5 Monkeys
Categories: Romance, Time-Travel, Historic Fiction, Contemporary
Challenge: 100 Books in a Year
Read in May 2011

Summary from Goodreads:
One snowy night in New York City, a successful, solitary goldsmith reflects on his life, and his unrealiable memories intertwine and collide. Journeying to the village in Spain where he grew up, he hopes with some trepidation that he will encounter Celia, "the Black Widow", a beautiful and mysterious friend of his mother with whom he had a short and passionate affair when he was a teenager. But instead he meets a young woman who opens doors into an unimagined world, and takes him back in time.
The Goldsmith's Secret is a remarkable story of a love trapped between two parallel times, set in Spain in the 1950's, 1970's and in the last year of the twentieth century.
In beautifully economical prose, and with a structure as intricate and refined as a bevelled jewel, The Goldsmith's Secret is alight with intense nostalgia, memories and desires.
Elia Barceló has come to be recognized across Europe as a truly original voice, and her books as poetic works of great subtlety.
My Opinion:

To be such a short novel, it had a very long story that traveled through time; a unique romance.

Written somewhat poetically, Barceló tells us the story of Celia and a man whose name we don't know, if I remember correctly.

Celia, the widow, is in love with a man she loved in her youth, and who left without saying goodbye. And he, a teenage boy captivated by that woman's strength. In their short affaire, she tells him something like, "I knew you'd be back." He doesn't understand a thing, and thinks she's confused, speaking to the man she once lost.

Now a grown man, he makes a trip from New York to the town where he grew up, and where he hasn't been in years. He expects to find a modernised town, as towns tend to get after some decades, right? But when he gets there at night, he can only see a few lights on here and there, and this brings back a memory from his childhood.

The hotel where he's staying is just like the one from his memory, from the time when he looked through tge window to spy on the visitors who stayed there when he was a boy. And like that, litttle by little, he realises that -almost magically- he's back to the Villasanta of his early years. And he remembers, too, that Celia is a teenage girl in this time. 

And so begins the search for the love of that young Celia, while he's a fourty-some-year-old man.

The Goldsmith's Secret is a beautiful tale of a love that couldn't be. He gets his second chance, but will he succeed? 

There's not much more to say about this book. I loved Elia's writing; I could see that old Spanish town very clearly while reading. I'm also a hopeless romantic, and this book was perfect for me. I'm really glad to have read it. 

Thanks to Nicci Praca for sending me a review copy.
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