Sister Consuelo is the confident young Mother Superior of a convent
hospital outside the village of San Ubaldo de Bassora, in Catalonia.
When she approaches local landowner Augusto Aixela, seeking money to
refurbish the hospital as an old people's home, her life is turned
upside down. Aixela takes a surprising interest in the project, they
continue to meet, and eventually, gripped by unfamiliar passion, she gives
herself up to him. She sends a letter of resignation to her superiors,
explaining what she has done and asking to be transferred far away,
but her path then crosses that of a notorious bandit...
The other characters are finely sketched, but The Year of the Flood
is essentially a portrait of a strong, honest woman in the throes
of obsessive love, struggling with its accompanying distortions,
contrivances, and self-deceptions. In the end she fails to free herself,
but succeeds in transmuting the sordid into the sublime. The Year of
the Flood is also a fable of village life and politics in Catalonia
in the 1950s, set in a year of terrible flooding. It is a short novel,
but a memorable one.
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