New Book – Blind Sunflowers by Alberto Méndez (Girasoles Ciegos)


Publishing year: 2004

There is a major film based on this book, and I was looking forward to reading it.

Yet, so far I haven’t been impressed or hooked. The book contains several stories happening after the Spanish Civil War, and so far I’ve read a couple of them. The first one is about Captain Alegría, who’s fought in the national army, and the day before the war finishes, he turns herself in. Why did he do that when Franco was going to win the war? Because he thought that thirst of blood and death was too much; it is interesting how he thinks there are no winners, but both sides are losers. The captain is later condemned and sentenced to death, but luck is on his side, and when a firing squad shoots at him and he falls among other dead bodies, he realizes he’s not dead and escapes.

The second story is about a journal found next to the corpses of an adult and a baby. We get the entries in the journal about the man’s despair. He has fled after the Republic army lost the war and his wife, eight months pregnant, followed him. Elena died in childbirth in a cabin in the mountains, and for months the man tries to survive. Yet, he can’t fight the inclemencies of the weather; he finds himself locked by snow and with no food. Even though he struggles with all his strength, the baby finally dies, and he also ends up dying.

There’s a third story I’ve started about a prison inmate who is questioned by a colonel about the colonel’s son who was imprisoned in a republic jail and died there.

I don’t know if these stories will eventually merge and will relate to each other. The reality of the Civil War is interesting and sad, but I have to admit that so far the book hasn’t hooked my attention.


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