The Olive Groves of Belchite by Elena Moya Pereira

The Olive Groves of Belchite

Elena Moya Pereira

My inner voice took on an involuntary Spanish intonation whilst reading this epic tale of family secrets. It wasn’t just an accent, more of an unconscious rhythm and a strong sense of place. This is a tale of three generations of women still affected by the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Each carrying their own burdens, rubbing against each other in the unspoken emotional tension.


'I also saw some television cameras in the Plaza Mayor,' Pilar continued. 'I heard at the hairdresser that they are from the BBC, from England. They are doing a documentary about the Old Village.'
Damn it, damn it Pilar, Conchita thought.
Conchita hadn’t told her daughters the little she knew about the family history. She preferred not to mess around with the past as it always made her mother and Soledad angry and sad, and at eighty-five and ninety, neither could handle emotional jars well any more …
'They can go back to their country and dig up their own dead if they want, not here,' Conchita quickly interrupted Pilar, who looked a bit surprised.

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