September 1962. Severina, a nineteen-year-old, orphaned, only child, accepts her first teaching post in Dusa, a rural village in the high Pyrenees, despite being homeschooled. She has more book learning than practical knowledge of the world and arrives with three objectives: to experience snow, have her own home, and be part of a small town. The year she spends in Dusa is one of awakenings, socialization with a series of eccentric characters, unrequited passion, and loss of political innocence.
Severina is an extreme product of the “Silent Generation” and her parents spoke of their political activities in code. It isn’t until the epilogue that she is confronted by her daughter with the documents of her father’s drumhead court-martial, in a scene driven by the author’s recent discoveries about her own family. Monsó takes the seeds of these silences and spins a classic winter yarn: subtle, detailed, and psychologically complex, brought to life with humor and a musical range of accents and dialectical variations, accompanied by the sounds of bossa nova and Duke Ellington.
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