Gonzalo is a frustrated would-be poet in a city full of poets; poets lurk in every bookshop, prop up every bar, ready to debate the merits of Teillier and Millan (but never Neruda – beyond the pale). Then, nine years after their bewildering breakup, Gonzalo reunites with his teen sweetheart, Carla, who is now, to his surprise, the mother of a young son, Vicente. Soon they form a happy sort-of family – a stepfamily, though no such word exists in their language.
In time, fate and ambition pull the lovers apart, but when it comes to love and poetry, what will be Gonzalo’s legacy to his not-quite-stepson Vicente? Zambra chronicles with tenderness and insight the everyday moments – absurd, painful, sexy, sweet, profound – that constitute family life in this bold and brilliant new novel.