Los buenos amigos

The Best of Friends | Destino, octubre 2016

Use Lahoz returns with a major new novel in which no one is quite who they seem. A story of love and slander, feast and famine, guilt and innocence, friendship and betrayal; and one that cements Lahoz’s position in the literary firmament.

The nineteen fifties: at the tender age of eight, Sixto Baladia looks on as his happy days in his childhood Aragón village draw to a close. Following the sudden death of his parents, he ends up in an orphanage in the big city, always more prosperous than the provinces further inland. It is here that he will embark on a new life and make the acquaintance of Vicente Cástaras, a slightly older boy, a charming swindler who will soon become his inseparable companion and protector. But time flies and, as they grow up, these one-time soulmates, almost brothers, will find that jealousy, rifts and feelings of betrayal will tear them apart once and for all. Or, at least, so they believe.

For some years down the line, in an unexpected turn of events, fate will cause their paths to cross once more, and their nostalgic reunion will for Sixto soon become a nightmare from which he cannot awake, a silent persecution in which the two friends find themselves reprising their former roles, and notions of friendship, loyalty, success and triumph will be sorely tested.

A flawless portrait of Spanish emigration, told by the have-nots. A cartography of an era that was a grand comedie humaine.