Garden by the Sea by Martha Tennent, Mercè Rodoreda

Garden by the Sea

Martha Tennent, Mercè Rodoreda

fiction Historical
reflective sad slow-paced
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The novel that defined Mercè Rodoreda’s most prolific period is finally available in English for the first time. Set in 1920s Spain, Garden by the Sea takes place over six summers at a villa by the sea inhabited by a young couple and their beautiful, rich, joyous friends. They swim, drink, tease each other, and fully enjoy themselves. All the while, the guests are observed by the villa’s gardener, a widow who’s been tending the garden for several decades. As the true protagonist of the novel, we get to see the dissolution of these magical summers through his eyes, as a sense of darkness and ending creeps in, precipitated by the construction of a new, larger, more glamorous villa next door.

Considered by many to be one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, Rodoreda has captivated readers for decades with her exacting descriptions of life—and nature—in post-war Spain, and this novel will further her reputation and fill in an important piece of oeuvre.

What the community thinks

summary of 14 ratings (see reviews)

Moods

funny 100%
reflective 100%
relaxing 100%
sad 100%

Pace

medium 100%

Strong character development?

Yes: 100%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 100%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 100%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

No: 100%

Average rating

4.25