Catalan / Spain
Diumenge al matí, al peu del salze
(Sunday morning, at the willow tree)
Garcia i Cornellà, Dolors
Barcelona: Barcanova, 2015. – 147 p.
School | Group dynamic | Coming of age | Bullying
White Ravens issue: 2016
Reading age: 12+
The students of a sixth-grade class gather together under a willow tree at the occasion of their completion of elementary school. There, each of them buries an object, which in that individual’s eyes symbolizes his or her future, and also a note that states what the student most wants to forget from school life up until now. Five years later, they meet again to dig up their wishes and memories and to learn how their lives have gone in the meantime. The seemingly harmless game suddenly turns serious as it becomes clear that life has not treated all of them kindly, as old tensions and conflicts flare up, and painful memories are brought back to life that some would rather have left buried. In her award-winning novel, Dolors Garcia i Cornellà fleshes out the psyches of the various characters and the complex relationships within the group in a very convincing way. The level of suspense rises continually, as the short chapters gradually develop from everyday school stories into a captivating thriller.