“La Bonne Chance” (La buena suerte), by Rosa Montero, translated from Spanish by Myriam Chirousse, Métailié, 278 p., € 20, digital € 10.
There comes a time when depression prevents you from moving forward. She paralyzes. She demands to find a den to withdraw from the world and sleep off her anguish. On his way to Malaga (Andalusia) where he is to give a conference, an internationally renowned architect from Madrid decides, on a whim, to turn back to a village seen on his train journey. “For sale,” he read on the sign of a dilapidated balcony. The apartment is located in a building bordering the railway line that takes seventeen trains a day. Without even having seen it, the 54-year-old esthete bought it with cash. The blinds are broken, the bars rusty, the floors in a disgusting state of filth. The discolored village of Pozonegro, where it just ran aground, is to match, with its collapsed houses and vacant lots. This is’“A small town with a mining past and a calamitous present, judging by the supreme ugliness of the place”, described Rosa Montero in Good luck, his twelfth novel published in France. In Pozonegro, all businesses have lowered the iron curtain, with the exception of a supermarket and a gas station.
Pablo Hernando, widower and inconsolate father, goes to bed, buries himself in his new home. He no longer answers the phone or emails. He plays dead. Besides, he is already sleeping on the tiled floor and observing the desolate view from his window. In the absence of news, his colleagues in Madrid are worried. The police are notified of his disappearance. She quickly finds his trace, because the bank accounts of the architect – which the person does not know – have been under surveillance since the escape from prison of a man named Marcos Santo. What bond unites them? What secret is Pablo hiding? What is he fleeing? What guilty burden does he carry? Rosa Montero’s story subtly spares the suspense. “To be another is a relief. Escape from your own life. Destroy what has been done. What was done badly. If only he could format his memory and start over. “
A heart in Winter
As Pablo’s cash was running out, his neighbor on the first floor, Raluca, a cashier at the supermarket, found him a shelving station. Gradually, the hermit will open up to others … In La Folle du logis, essay on the literary imagination (Métailié, 2004) where she argued that writing aims to ward off darkness and chaos, Rosa Montero argued : “To speak of literature is therefore to speak of life; of our own and that of others, of happiness and pain. And it is also talking about love because passion is the greatest invention of our invented lives, the shadow of a shadow, the sleeper dreaming that he is sleeping. ” In the tradition of The ridiculous idea of never seeing you again (Métailié, 2015), Good luck testifies to what a heart in winter can start beating again. A story of deep sorrow, it turns little by little into a magnificent romance novel carried by Raluca, a thirty-something a little crazy but resolutely made for joy and happiness; a spirited, generous, solar woman despite her childhood in the orphanage. “ Is that me, you know, I’ve always had very good luck. And luckily I’m so blessed with luck, because otherwise, with the life I’ve had, I don’t know what will become of me. “ Difficult to resist him.
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