This is a story of love and friendship. The story revolves around Benet Enrich, the main character, born in Catalonia in 1931, and his friendship with a Scottish brigadier, George. They met during the Spanish Civil War and found each other again after more than thirty years.
George’s voice, as a journalist for the Daily Telegraph, narrates the beginning and the end of the novel. Ironic with himself and tender and full of admiration with his friend, he depicts both of their very different life paths. At first, George’s may seem the most exciting, but it’s the story of Benet, a man just like any other, that the book goes into in more detail. Benet is born in a mountain village with two siblings and parents that don’t really get along. As time goes by, he will gradually go through dreams of youth, concerns of the profession, wounds from the war, resign of his artistic aspirations and a love story with Elvira. This graceful girl who bears inside too big of a sorrow will be important in Benet’s life.
The reader will learn about the things that affect love through the letters that the leading character writes to his loved one; these, among the voices of the other characters, will be written in the first person. All of Benet’s successes and struggles will easily get to the reader; and so will his intimate thoughts since, in the last part of the story, the novel allows an access to his and Elvira’s mind: what they think about when they are alone, what hides behind their silence and, most of all, what their feelings are. Elvira’s intimate space will have a sharp counterpoint: the say of three girls from the village. These talks from the small society -which really hurt the female character- will be revealed, especially the marks that History has left on them.
As said in the beginning, George, the Scotsman, is the voice who closes the novel by offering a wrap-up of his friend’s life while also going through the highlights of his’. This way, the story provides a look at a different time, between the 1930s and the 1970s, and especially illustrates the effect the political events had on young people and their future.