Spanish / Argentina
Martinez Arroyo, Carola
Buenos Aires: Norma, 2019. – 236 p.
(Series: Zona libre)
Mother | Death | Coping with grief
Reading age: 11+
White Ravens issue: 2020
“Nothing bad has happened to me for thirteen years. Now my mother has died”. This is how the story of thirteen-year-old Fiorella begins on the first page of the book. “She has died”: This is the final certainty, even though Fiorella’s little sister, Maggie, hopes their mother will “undie”. The narrator shares feelings such as incredulity, paralysis, rage, and grief with readers, as well as her attempt to newly find her way in life and to gradually fill the void, though it can never completely disappear. As in her debut novel “Matilde” (2016), in “Nunca jamás” Carola Martinez Arroyo uses an authentic language to develop the plot as well as the emotions and thoughts of her female protagonist in an absolutely believable way. Averse feelings – for instance, when Fiorella desires to live her own life yet also remain responsible for her sister – aren’t played down or trivialized, which is of great merit. [JW]