43 BOOK Patria (2016)

January 23, 2024

Fernando Aramburu (Spain, 1959)

“Sometimes, life is so simple that it becomes complicated.”

This book has firmly secured place among my favourites in contemporary Spanish literature. I could read it MANY more times. Currently revisiting it for our book club, “Patria” is a literary rollercoaster that immerses you in the lives of two families in the Basque Country when ETA (a Basque terrorist organisation) held significant sway. Fernando Aramburu delves deep into the friendship of Bittori and Miren, shaken by political conflicts and the violence surrounding their lives.

The narrative feels so vivid; it’s like you’re right there with sentences that touch the heart. One of them is Bittori’s words: “Nunca sabes lo que te importa de verdad hasta que lo pierdes” (You never know what truly matters until you lose it). Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes, we take things for granted until they’re gone.

Aramburu skillfully portrays the complexity of human relationships and how political conflicts can divide even the closest individuals. It immerses you in a whirlwind of emotions, prompting reflection on the importance of peace and understanding.

❤️ Everyone in our reading group enjoyed the book, unanimously agreeing it’s a masterpiece. One participant shared a moving personal experience during the conflict in Northern Ireland. She narrated how such conflicts leave a profound scar on individuals, expressing the fear of living in such a situation, the need to leave home to survive, the bonds that fracture, and the collateral damage these conflicts bring.

Hopefully, we, as humans, can learn to coexist better. Sometimes, we complicate life more than necessary. The ongoing events worldwide indicate we still have much to learn from our histories.

Thank you for reading.

Wishing you a wonderful day! 😘

P.S. There’s also a series based on this book, and it’s SPECTACULAR; it lives up to this remarkable work.

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