The Scent of Lemon Leaves
Translated by Julie Wark
WINNER OF THE NADAL PRIZE
Having left her job and boyfriend, thirty-year-old Sandra decides to stay in a village on the Costa Blanca in order to take stock of her life and find a new direction. She befriends Karin and Fredrik, an elderly Norwegian couple, who provide her with stimulating company and take the place of the grandparents she never had. However, when she meets Julián, a former concentration-camp inmate who has just returned to Europe from Argentina, she discovers that all is not what it seems and finds herself involved in a perilous quest for the truth.
As well as being a powerful account of self-discovery and an exploration of history and redemption, The Scent of Lemon Leaves is a sophisticated and nail-biting page-turner by one of Spain’s most accomplished authors.
Part thriller, part love story, and with beautifully evocative descriptions, this is a fascinating read – with a completely unexpected ending.
We Love This Book magazine
This is a wonderful novel … it hides the dark story of deceit and hidden secrets. The characters of Sandra and Julian are engaging and while we become absorbed in their plight and actions, we are left feeling satisfied at the unexpected ending … The book reads at a good pace and that is partly due to the excellent translation which also gives a believable sense of time and place. It is a book I shall remember for a long time.
Born in Guadalajara, Clara Sánchez is the author of eight novels including Últimas noticias del paraíso (2000) which won the prestigious Alfaguara Prize in 2000. She is a newspaper columnist for top-selling Spanish newspaper El País and has been an occasional contributor for national television. Her books have all been translated in several languages.
Read an interview with Clara Sánchez here