Toda la vida, by Ada Castells

37877857(There isn’t an English translation of this book, but the title could be translated to Whole life, maybe? Lifetime, perhaps?)

This was such a weird book to read. I liked one half of it, and I hate-read the other half.

The story is narrated by Sílvia, a writer by night, a shopgirl* by day. She is interested in the life of Caspar Friedrich, the romantic painter, and is currently writing about him, some sort of novelized biography. The fragments that are part of her book are the half that I like, as I knew little of this painter other than his works (which are pictured in the book, such a nice touch). The other half, the one I hated, is about her life and her passionate and torrid romance with a painter**, a story that has all the cliches you could ever imagine and just made me want to punch Sílvia (and maybe also the author) in the face.

The book alternate the chapters between Julia and Friedrich, in a way to show how what she lived influenced her writing and how sometimes she tried to incorporate into her life some of the things she wrote.

*probably not the best term, as she is more like the store manager or something like that, the heiress of the brand.

**as a way of escapism, perhaps? To prove herself (or more like to prove others) that she doesn’t belong to her bourgeois background, that she can have a bohemian lifestyle. Ugh…

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