A richly layered and evocative novel about the lives and loves of a family of remarkable Spanish women
Set in northern Spain from 1920 to the present, The Bitter Taste of Time is the compelling story of the Encarna women, whose lives are both tragic and beautiful. After the death of her husband, the family’s gorgeous and imposing matriarch, Maria Encarna, turns her granite house into a pensión, opening it up to strangers with colorful stories and dark pasts. There she lives with her two unmarried sisters, her two daughters, and her granddaughter.
Through the Spanish Civil War, a dictatorship, and the early years of a new democracy, the Encarnas become the wealthiest family in town. Yet despite their success and tenacity, tragedy comes calling, usually in the form of a man—and almost always on a Friday.
By turns funny and moving, The Bitter Taste of Time is a thoroughly entertaining read.
Praise for Béa Gonzalez
“Extraordinary. Cracking open Béa Gonzalez’s The Bitter Taste of Time is like plunging head first into a Goya painting.”
- The Globe and Mail
“Enchanting . . . with all the scope and majesty of the operatic productions that inspired her, Gonzalez's tale of love, longing, and loss is a sweeping, romantic adventure.”
- Booklist on The Mapmaker's Opera
“Gonzalez's ability to create a strong sense of place and develop fascinating characters makes this book a gem.”
- Edmonton Journal
“Sumptuous . . . Perfection lies in the details. With its top-flight storytelling and delicious prose, The Bitter Taste of Time leaves the sweet savor of a splendid piece of literature.”
- The Vancouver Sun