I’ve been meaning to write about The Sadness of the Samurai: A Novel By Victor del Arbol since its English debut at the end of May and just haven’t had a chance to feature it.
This fierce, edgy, brisk, and enthralling, brilliant novel by Victor del Árbol pushes the boundaries of the traditional historical novel and in doing so creates a work of incredible power that resonates long after the last page has been turned.
When Isabel, a Spanish aristocrat living in the pro-Nazi Spain of 1941, becomes involved in a plot to kill her Fascist husband, she finds herself betrayed by her mysterious lover. The effects of her betrayal play out in a violent struggle for power in both family and government over three generations, intertwining her story with that of a young lawyer named Maria forty years later.
During the attempted Fascist coup of 1981, Maria is accused of plotting the prison escape of a man she successfully prosecuted for murder. As Maria’s and Isabel’s narratives unfold they encircle each other, creating a page-turning literary thriller firmly rooted in history.
Victor del Árbol holds a degree in history from the University of Barcelona. He has worked for Catalonia‘s police force since 1992. In 2006, he won the Tiflos de Novela Award for The Weight of the Dead. The Sadness of the Samurai is his first novel to be translated into English. You can follow him on Twitter @victordelarbol.
“La “tristeza del samurái” es la que todos sentimos alguna vez en la vida, cuando descubrimos, o nos hacen descubrir que aquello que siempre quisimos ser, que lo mejor de nosotros, es solo un personaje que nos hemos ido creando y creyendo a lo largo de la vida y que se ha acabado comiendo a quien realmente somos. Todos quisieran ser mejores de lo que son, todos desearíamos ser aquello que los demás esperan de nosostros: un buen padre, un buen hijo, un buen amante, un buen amigo, una buena abogada, una buena aristócrata… Pero no siempre lo conseguimos, a veces no lo logramos nunca.” via Revistadeletras
You can read an excerpt here.