Throughout life human beings undergo difficult times, the younger you are, the harder it can be and hard lessons are not likely to be forgotten. In this novel the author, Almudena Grandes narrates the experiences that lead an 11-year-old boy to recognize that in war the politicians' enemy is not necessarily his and why he does not want to be like his father. The events of that summer mark his life and force him to mature rapidly, not only physically but emotionally and morally.
The novel is set during Spain's anti-franquista insurgency movement of 1947-1949, an era marked by repression, particularly against those who in some way were identified with the guerrilla. It portrays a nation where the enemy was anonymous and many innocent people were abused or viciously murdered. Almudena Grandes presents the legend of a guerrilla hero known as "Cencerro" based on a character of that period who represented the ideals of the people oppressed by war and persecution. This work contains some historical data of the time in a story filled with great emotion.
The language of the work is simple although it contains some regionalisms. The narrative style of the author and her use of long sentences containing several voices and complicated ideas, may present a challenge to the reader. The work is a good quality "paperback" edition.
This is a novel suitable for all audiences. RECOMMENDED.