La luz sepultada was the first novel published by the Spanish writer Irene Vallejo (1979 –), an author who trained in philology classic and that has focused a large part of his work on the investigation and dissemination of classical authors and ancient history, a task that he has done and continues to do in various media.
Instead, she made a radical change in choosing the subject of her first novel, as her plot focuses on the opening episodes of theSpanish Civil War. And although in the novel (and also among readers) the development and outcome of that coup d'état that ended in a war is clear, his story only covers the first months of the war, that is, practically the summer of 1936 and early fall.
The protagonists are a family that has been trapped in a city that has fallen into the hands of the rebels, that is, Franco's troops. They are a middle-class family with republican ideals, but rather moderate ones, and all of them: father, mother, daughter and grandfather, the closest to the army, will undergo a profound mutation in their behavior and ideas after the outbreak of the war.
Fear, violence and betrayal will shape her character and the author tries to give a general vision of what ordinary citizens are experiencing during all those months in Spain. She has chosen thecity of Zaragoza, since the writer is from there, but she could have chosen any other. And the idea is to show the metamorphosis that these characters undergo in the face of the new situation of generalized panic.
It is true that the novel is full of topics, and possibly it is too ambitious when it comes to trying to give us a general report on historical events, but despite that, its reading is very enjoyable, especially thanks to the rich vocabulary which prints each paragraph and each dialogue.
This generates a rhythm that captivates the reader. And the proof is that after this first novel published in 2011, Irene Vallejo has continued to write new fiction titles, gaining more and more followers and also new awards. At the same time, she has continued her work in the columns of various newspapers and has even written an essay book on her speci alty, the Classical Philology. A book in which she tells us about the world of reading in ancient times, a subject that has surprisingly become a complete publishing success. Your title? Infinity in a reed. And without a doubt such success has a lot to do with the author's way of writing and her constant connection between that remote past and our days.