The Winterlings by Cristina Sánchez-Andrade

The Winterlings

Cristina Sánchez-Andrade

Graphic, gothic and often gruesome – this has the timeless feel of a folk tale. A rural village in Galicia is the setting for the return from exile of two sisters after the Spanish civil war. Superstition and intrigue hint at a violent and sinister past among the local cast of eccentrics and grotesques, adding to the air of unease and foreboding. Though reminiscent of a Brothers Grimm story, this surreal tragicomedy is one for adults only.


People said that if the Popular Front won, the rich folks would have to share their wealth. The poor folk liked the sound of this. But once the war started, there was no sharing out of anything; instead, hunger and fear became routine.
In people’s homes, anything that could be added to the bread dough that wasn’t poisonous was added: straw, wood chips, toads, and stones .... Folks lost a lot of teeth trying to chew on it. The Winterlings remembered that sensation, too; they’d forgotten many people’s faces, but they remembered the bitter taste of the bread ....
While they shucked corn, and mended or made sweaters, rumours of a very different kind began to swirl. All of this went on, and then, after a while, they arrested Mr. Tenderlove, the dental mechanic. He was released after a twelve thousand real fine for pulling the teeth of dead people he found lying in ditches. That’s what people were saying, although no one could believe it.

  • One Out of Two by Daniel Sada
  • Macondo by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Books with similar mood


Nicola Pugliese

The Field of Blood

Denise Mina

The Housekeeper

Melanie Wallace

From Darkest Skies

Sam Peters

The Drowning

Camilla Lackberg

Sharp Objects

Gillian Flynn


Mari Jungstedt

Girls of Paper and Fire

Natasha Ngan


Sarai Walker

The Appointment

Herta Muller

On Cape Three Points

Christopher Wakling

The Executioner's Art

David Fine

Buddha's Money

Martin Limon

Empire of Sand

Tasha Suri

First Person

Richard Flanagan

Ninefox Gambit

Yoon Ha Lee

The Power

Naomi Alderman

The Quiet Twin

Dan Vyleta


J M Morris


John Biguenet

The Valparaiso Voyage

Dermot Bolger

Thin Air

Richard Morgan

Kiss Me First

Lottie Moggach

The Electric Church

Jeff Somers

The Spanish Bow

Andromeda Romano-Lax


Christopher Fowler

Brixton Beach

Roma Tearne

The Machine

James Smythe

The Lemon Grove

Helen Walsh

Isabel's Skin

Peter Benson

Come Closer

Sara Gran

The Scornful Moon

Maurice Gee

The Winter Queen

Boris Akunin

Red Dust

Gillian Slovo

Please Don't Call Me Human

Wang Shuo

On Tenderness Express

Maxim Jakubowski

The Synapse Sequence

Daniel Godfrey

The Ghost Writer

John Harwood

Living Nowhere

John Burnside

The Earthquake Bird

Susanna Jones

The Night Buffalo

Guillermo Arriaga

Mexican Gothic

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Once Again Assembled Here

Sean O'Brien

The Texture of Shadows

Mandla Langa

Black Star Nairobi

Mukoma Wa Ngugi

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man

Nick Dybek

Killing Time

Caleb Carr

The Bone Keeper

Luca Veste


Rawi Hage