In the Ventas prison in Madrid, a group of women have been incarcerated. And it was made into a successful movie in Category: Spanish Language Fiction. Add to Cart. Also available from:. Paperback —.
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Oct 10, Crisadmaiora rated it it was amazing. Very deeply moving and intense. La Voz dormida is such a beautiful and perfectly contextualized title and I really dislike that in Italy Neri Pozza one of my favorite publishing houses has changed it into something very frivolous and not charming at all. This is a precious work that reveals a lot about the incredible courage of people and women in a special way during something as terrific and tragic as a dictatorship and its neverending cruelty.
Although several countries in Europe hav Very deeply moving and intense. Do we need to be under tragic conditions to remember such values? A very great shame that Dulce Chacon has died too soon.
No wonder she was a great writer and could give a lot to Spain and to all of us. View all 6 comments. Jun 19, Elena Calvo rated it it was amazing. I still have tears in my eyes. It is not easy and quite clear at the same time to explain why I have rated this book with 5 stars, since it is not a Nobel prize work. I have always been interested in the Spanish Civil War and the Post-War years since I was a teenager and I have extensively read books on it together with movies and I never get tired of it, so this was one of the books I kept pending for years, until I could finally get a copy of it.
I also love such novels because I can recognize still the places described in them perfectly, I walk through some of them every single day, and they have also been walked by previous generations to me, so I feel as if I already know much better their stories thanks to the stories of other that passed by before. I also find so many traces of my grandparents, of even my mother in those customs and daily life reflected in the novel, they seem so close to me that sometimes I become too nostalgic.
Finally, even if so many years have passed by and I am the second generation coming from the ones who witnessed and suffered it, I have always felt quite close to those events, which break my heart once and again. Indeed, I am still unable to accept how human beings can reach such limits in life, how a different political approach can create such a deep hatred that some human beings become real evils and are able to defend their positions after such ideas, without caring about the opposite suffering and even supporting death penalty.
I still can see so many traces of those years in society, even if many people don't know they come from there and much earlier, since the lovely Transition made a good job into trying to erase them completely, by assuming this would be the only way to go on together as a society, when the best thing that could have been done would have been to never forget what happened in both sides during the War and then in the dictatorship years in order to never make the same mistakes.
But similar mistakes keep on happening these days, unfortunately, because we haven't learnt anything at all from the past. Silence is most of times the worst of the choices. But let's come back to the novel. The novel evolves around their daily lives in jail and their memories of the past together with the lives of those ones who go to visit them when allowed.
Through the development of the daily lives of all of them we will be able to perceive the life of the ones who "lost" the war, together with the typical customs and "lifestyle" of those days, many of them imposed. We will live and suffer with the characters, their past and current lives, their decisions, their consequences, their destinies, and above all, with the lack of freedom and the violent control of the authority.
Even when it is told from the point of view of the destinies of many Communist affiliates, not all of them are, but they maybe just sympathise or maybe they were just relatives. The cruelty and injustice is present in most of the pages, but we can also perceive the dignity, the dreams, the love and the pain of some women that just happened to live in those days and were in jailed sometimes for reasons that we might find incredible these days We will learn what is to be deprived of freedom, we will see a Church that was extremely cruel as organization in those days, and like always, we will see what ignorance can provide to society.
This novel may be treated in a partial way, as some have stated, and I will not deny it, but unfortunately it is based in very realistic accounts, in real facts, and that can't be denied either. Dictatorship and its consequences in normal people and daily life can't be denied, lack of freedom can't be denied, forced exile can't be denied, couples separated for decades due to jail sentences can't be denied.
A war is a war, many people will say, but a war should be avoided at any cost, because the monsters they create is one of the worst metamorphosis the human being can go through and the worst consequences always go to working people, not to the direct responsible ones of them, who can't even imagine which type of suffering they provide to others.
A bitter-sweet novel recommended to learn on the Post-War years in Spain, on the life in jails, on the repression on people, on the role religion played in it, on the way women tried to survive, on how you couldn't think different, on how, in spite of all, the human being will always search for freedom and love.
View 2 comments. Jul 29, Antonio Ippolito rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. A charming reading, moving from sad to melancholy to the little joys of daily life; narrated by a woman in order to shed light on the role of women on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War.
Though narrated in a very womanly style, always detailing the sensations and emotions and afterthoughts and forethoughts and misgivings, repeating sentences in a musical way like they haunt our minds, the novel manages to follow the lives of strong, unforgettable women, most of them now jailed in Ventas A charming reading, moving from sad to melancholy to the little joys of daily life; narrated by a woman in order to shed light on the role of women on the Republican side of the Spanish Civil War.
Though narrated in a very womanly style, always detailing the sensations and emotions and afterthoughts and forethoughts and misgivings, repeating sentences in a musical way like they haunt our minds, the novel manages to follow the lives of strong, unforgettable women, most of them now jailed in Ventas, Madrid, guilty of fighting on the other side of the Civil War, or only for being sisters, mothers, wives of Republican Militians.
While kept near starvation in an overcrowded jail, they manage to contrive exceptional acts of resistance and solidarity, in order to save dignity at least; while memories crop up to narrate how they learnt to read and write as adults in improvised schools, or how the Guardia Civil shot their sons before their very eyes, and then prevented burying them. On the background, the grim reality of torture, rape, retaliations, cheating which is the seamy side of every war, behind the grand objectives and propaganda.
Outside the fight goes on, and their comrades hide in the mountains, to carry the torch of the Republic, while they wait for the Allies to go after Franco, after they have ousted Hitler and Mussolini. I learnt many things I ignored about this war: for example the hopes of help by the Allies; or how the exiled Republicans tried an invasion in , but failed also because of little support from local population, or how the only States to recognize Franco's Spain, against the United Nations' plea for embargo, were Portugal, Dominican Republic, the Vatican and Argentina: Eva Duarte was even in visit to supply food to the starving country.
Of course this is not, and was not meant to be, an historical novel: it is only narrated on the Republican side. You will not find mention of mass shootings by them the only one is attributed to the Soviet military counselor , rapes of nuns and crucifiction of priests..
Impossible to put down, this novel is based on actual testimonies and heartbreaking accounts of women fighting, dying and surviving the Spanish Civil war. Jan 29, Irene rated it it was amazing. It is simply a MUST. Maybe translation affected this? This would've contextualized the dual meaning of Elvira's remark to Mateo: "You didn't learn a thing from the Republic, Mateo, men aren't our lords and masters any more" Also, there are interesting similarities between how Spain debates memory of this conflict and how the U.
Jul 24, Gina Egan rated it it was amazing. As always, it's great to hear about the part women played in political movements and war efforts. Reading the thank-yous at the end of the book, you can see that the fear of being discovered still haunts many of these people and that they feel that their story will be forgotten due to their silence. By us As always, it's great to hear about the part women played in political movements and war efforts.
By using so many little details from each person, I think she has done a great job passing the memory on. The book was made into a movie in and won three Goyas, and I hope to see it soon. Glad to give this 5 stars as I can still hear their voices in my mind. It is specially affecting to read this now with the Euro in crisis and capitalism and the banking community winding up the pressure on Spain.
The Spanish civil war was a terrible time but this book paints a distressing and true picture of the early years of Franco's Spain, the repression and hunger Spaniards endured during the second world war and afterwards. May 02, Almita rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , i-ve-fallen-in-love , carved-in-my-mind. Make yourself a favor, read this novel I loved the writing.
Beautiful portraits, the characters were, with few words, so vivid. I feared for them and I learnt a lot about the communist resistance in the years post civil war in Spain.
Mar 11, Arwen rated it it was amazing Shelves: historical-biographical. I had to read this book a couple of times to work out the relationships among all the characters but it was worth it.
It's a great study of a group of women imprisoned at the end of the Spanish Civil War, their lives and the lives of their families and comrades outside. Based on truth but the characters are fictional as far as I know. Very moving and compelling, one of my favourite books. Set in post-Civil War Spain, this is a moving story of women prisoners, their jailors, their families,the men they loved and the men who used them, those fighting in the resistance and those conforming to society.
The terrible injustices these women endured led to great acts of solidarity and bravery. Beautifully told.
La voz dormida
ISBN 13: 9788466312813
Two sisters find themselves caught up in politics in the turmoil following the Spanish Civil War. The pregnant Hortensia Inma Cuesta is locked away in a crowded women's prison. In Madrid she finds a job in a wealthy home with close ties to Franco. Pepita meets young fighter Paulino Marc Clotet and falls in love with him.
La voz dormida / The Sleeping Voice