Madre mía

Madre mía

Novel | Caballo de Troya , 2017 | 208 pages

On one side of the ocean, there is a mother with cancer. On the other, a daughter looking for her place in the world, her identity, her impossible freedom. Madre mía is an autofiction about grief, belonging and family. In this novel, Florencia del Campo plots a straightforward and honest journey through the elements that define any parent-child relationship: the guilt, the love, the recognition, the obligation, the distance, even the foreigner of our own familiy condition. There is no modesty in this story, there is no relief. The cutting literary voice of the author mixes, in a risky journey, with the multiple voices of a sarcastic but necessary conscience and the various settings of the haven cities, building up an implacable portrait: no matter how clean the wound is, you cannot run away from its root.

Narrated in a brutal first-person, Madre mía is the author’s journey through a visceral path of comings and goings: on the one hand, the duty and the desire to take care of her sick mother, on the other, the force that drags her to live her own life, her need for building herself up away from the family boundaries, with all the complexity of that root, of that belonging.

The voice of a woman, bitter and human, confronts the readers with the question whether the sick person is a manipulative monster or if the monsters are those who feel that the sicks are the ones stealing their lives. Between the generosity and the selfishness, questions that interpellate women especially arise. Del Campo rebels, but something stays stuck deep inside: that murky and unsettling substance of the best literature. Marta Sanz, El País

Florencia del Campo manages to write literature in the world of corpses, where grief, so many times, gives credit to literary, pictorial therapies and workshops of people doing things. Once in a while, a hurt person comes out of these workshops writing a solid novel. Javier Divisa, Revista EÑE

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