Stones in a landslide by Maria Barbal

stones in a landslide

Stones in a landslide by Maria Barbel

Catalan fiction

Original title – Pedra de Tarera

Translator – Laura McGloughkin and Paul Mitchell

Source – Review copy

Bored yet busy with my hands
Cargill you’ll have me round the bend
Cargill you’re pulling all the strands
Of my heartstrings entangled in your net

My luck’s turned thrawn
Always the quayside chores
A sister on each arm
Strong of shoulder weak at the knees
Cargill I’m the finest catch that you’ll land

Cargill do not presume to understand
The dread of counting home the fleet
The sudden thrill of seeing you’re safely back
Your catch has fallen at your feet

King Cresote Lyrics for Cargil from his recent album seemed perfect he comes from a small village near my Aunties house in fife .

Well when asked for my favourite book by Peirene , I always say this one , I sometimes thnk I may be the only person  that thinks it is their best at the time  when I read it five years ago was a perfect book .So I was a bit scared to reread this one , would it be the same now as it was then ? would I connect with it as I did five years ago ?  Well we will find out in a min , the real sad point of this story is Maria Barbal hasn’t had any more books translated and brought out in English  since this one came out  , which is a shame !

My aunts and uncle’s house was very big almost as big as my parents house ‘ at Ermita .Many years ago it must have been a house full or people and hustle and bustle because it had a ground floor and two storeys and then a loft under the roof

Amazed at the size ,but also how empty the house she has come to work is .

Stones in a landslide is the story of one woman , well woman when we first meet her she is really still a girl Conxa , who at 13 is sent from her own little village to another Village , to work for her better off aunt .This is like being torn from one world to another for the young girl , then years later she falls in love with a man .But is this to be cut short by the spanish civil war ?

They liked everything ; the chorizo and the black pudding ,the cuts of ham .They liked the bacon .Its much tastier than the stuff down their ,they would say .I enjoyed seeing how they kept helping themselves to more and the way they used their knives .

early on in new village , I choose the same quote as I did in the first review as it shows Conxa’s wonder at her new life .

Now in my first review , I marvelled in the small world of Conxa , how even the short journey from her home village to her aunts village ,in her eyes is like moving from one world to another ! .I compared it at the time to the Northumberland I heard of as a young man working in a day centre with the elderly ,when they used speak about the small villages and places in and around Alnwick struck me the same as conxa’s world and still did .But now more than five years ago ,has this world gone ? when we all spend our lives looking at glowing screens of various sizes , has the village died ? somewhat but through books like this it is kept alive .A world caught in Amber so to speak and we are the outsides looking in at it .So did it hold up to my placing it top of Peirene pile well yes it did , is it still my favourite yes it is so to go back to last part of my review and actually part of my early reviews I may bring back !

Winston’s score

mountain goat a bit mad I used compare books to things but this book is like the mountain goat symbol of the Pyrenees this book is tough and clings to the mountain of the mind !

spainsh goat ,via telegraph website

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Max Cairnduff
    Jan 04, 2015 @ 18:24:35

    Mountain Goat seems very fair, it is after all a very good book as you rightly say. Have you read any John Berger? There’s a review of one of his at mine (there’s a review of three actually, but only one that’s relevant) which examines the life of a small French village. I suspect you might like it. Pig Earth is the title.

    Love the object categorisation. Much better than stars or marks out of five or whatever, which I never much like.


  2. Maryom
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 01:00:56

    As you may have spotted on Twitter, I’m joining in with your Peirene re-reads – so here’s my second review of Stone in a Landslide


  3. JacquiWine
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 08:40:57

    I’ve read most of the Peirene titles from 2012 onwards, but I think I may have to do a spot of retrospective reading to catch up with the earlier books. It’s interesting to hear that this remains your favourite.


  4. Col
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 20:40:44

    I tried to get into Spanish fiction throughout last year and really enjoyed those I read. I didnt have this on my list but it sounds like one I should try in 2015!


  5. 1streading
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 19:23:34

    It may not be my favourite Peirene title, but it’s still a great book. (Also enjoyed the King Creosote reference – Anstruther not far from where I live!)


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January 2015


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