Winner of the 2015 Planeta Prize
Irene’s husband has left her for a younger woman and her family business is on the verge of collapse, but the last thing she wants is to be the subject of gossip or pity. So she starts spending time with Genoveva, a divorcée who, in liberating herself from the bonds of marriage, has also freed herself from the clutches of the old crowd of “couple friends.”
Javier is a literature teacher who suddenly loses his job at a Catholic school. He’s not ambitious—the months go by and no work materializes. Then, almost by accident, he gets back in contact with Iván, a cocky friend from his youth who introduces him to the world of stripping and male prostitution.
Circumstance brings Irene and Javier together: he gets some extra cash and mental stimulation out of their relationship, and she finds an outlet for her frustrations. However, Irene doesn’t want to have sex with him—she just wants to see him naked, humiliated, dominated. Their relationship takes a troubling turn, but things may be even more complicated than they seem.
Alicia Giménez-Bartlett weaves a tale of economic and personal devastation, portraying the ways that life’s disappointments can bring people to do things they never would have imagined.
Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett was born in Almansa, Spain, in 1951 and has lived in Barcelona since 1975. After the enormous success of her first novels, she decided to leave her work as a teacher of Spanish literature to dedicate herself full-time to writing. In 1997, she was awarded the Feminino Lumen prize for the best female writer in Spain. She subsequently launched her Petra Delicado series, quickly making her into one of Spain’s most popular and loved crime writers.