La llorona

“I tried to find out how many layers of skin need to be changed before die. How hard it is to become an adult.”

The bond that merges every mother to her children is something inexplicable. An invisible thread, resistant to any kind of misfortune or bad luck.

The protagonist of the book will face the toughest test to which a mother is called, the death of her newborn daughter. An event as catastrophic as it is obscure in the way it matured. A violent fever while she was hospitalized, the inability to see her, and then the decision by a not well defined authority to cremate the body, without giving parents the opportunity to squeeze those beloved hands for the last time. The woman’s determination to investigate in the dark corners will open a Pandora’s box kept buried for many years.

What can stop a mother who has been stolen from her daughter? Nothing. What can a mother do to recover her daughter from whom she was deceived? All.  The husband, the family members, the fellow villagers, the companions of the association of mothers, the institutions and the guerrillas will son discover this simple axiom of life. In fact all of them are involved, more or less directly, in the death of the daughter.

Among the side characters of the story that we appreciated most, there is her first love, when he was still young and inexperienced and the world was a set of opportunities to be seized. A young university student, forced to leave her by unexpected commitments, but who will never forget her,  and who will return unexpectedly to help her one last time.

The timing of writing, and the empty spaces between words, as it is normal, exude the South American matrix of the writer. So before starting to read, you must be aware of the historical and cultural reality in which you are entering in order to appreciate every nuance. From the fight to the powerful to the emancipation of women, always publicized but never really achieved, especially in the inland areas, where time has stopped and has no intention of moving forward.


Marcela Serrano, I quaderni del pianto, Feltrinelli, Milano, 2009

Original edition: La llorona, Editorial Planeta, 2007.

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