La carne / The Flesh
Novel , 2016
A dangerous and appealing literary meditation about the body and desire at an adult age.
Single and childless, Soledad has turned sixty, which she calls “the age of the dogs”. But in her case, what many would consider a normal life, or even a chosen one, is symptomatic of a personal anomaly that she spends days and nights torturing herself about. Fate hasn’t been good to her either: her sister, Dolores, is confined to a psychiatric hospital, and her lover, Mario, has returned to an apparently happy marriage with his wife. Her job is the only thing Soledad can cling to: the curatorship of a peculiar catalogue of outcast writers that she’s preparing for an exhibition. And something undeniable since she was a girl: bodily desire, and the need to feel like a lover woman. Adam, a gigolo of Russian origin, will come into her life to satisfy that desire, leading to a dangerous relationship between him, with his dark past, and her, a woman obsessed with madness and age spots, but determined to pull out all the stops one last time.
In La carne (The Flesh), Rosa Montero plays with psychology and uses agile, vivid, crystal-clear writing to show how the body can go from being a shameful prison to an authentic engine for our desire to keep on living.
“A novel about love. About love that’s given and needs to be received. Rosa Montero has written a novel about people wounded by the terror of loneliness and never being loved. [...] A quest to join literature and life, imagination and trembling.” J. E. Ayala-Dip, Babelia
“An enjoyable story, as bitter as it is emotional, written with naturalness and ease, simple but profound.” Santos Sanz Villanueva, El Cultural de El Mundo
“Profoundly vitalist. This is a story against defeat at the moment when victories seem impossible.” José María Pozuelo Yvancos, ABC Cultural
“A novel that’s intimate, fun, honest, and above all able to drag you into a plot devoid of certainties, evils and security.” Berna González Harbour, Zenda
“One of Rosa Montero’s best novels. Because of how well she dissects the feelings and dangers of those laws that govern desire, and desires [...] Read it and we can discuss it later, if you like. We’ll have plenty to talk about.” Ovidio Parades, Huffington Post
“Rosa Montero’s prodigious imagination and her narrative skill [...] ensure the novel will be enjoyed and read compulsively, in one sitting.” Mujer Hoy
“An erotic but profound novel, that speaks of desire and love later in life.” Woman
“A mature, complex book that is emotionally, ethically and philosophically charged behind its apparent simplicity.” Ricardo Gil Otaiza, El Universal
“This latest work by Rosa Montero is such a joy to read that it gives the false impression of being light reading when it’s quite the contrary, and is actually full of lead [...] It’s not easy to create such a wide-ranging, believable character, so easy to visualise with her obsessions, fixations, misfortunes, and boundless need to love and be loved.” Aurora Cruzado Díaz, Turia