About the book

A past, a guilt, a silence and a family marked by the weight of things that are never said.

– More than a generational portrait. A novel about a generation that, after understanding parents in the midst of their silences, now has to understand their children in the midst of their noises.

– The author addresses the difficulty of relationships between parents and children, then and now. Especially when the latter reach adolescence and, as is currently the case, the views of others play a determining role in their lives.

– Pedro Simón’s previous novel, Los ingratos, Spring Prize in 2021, was excellently received by readers and critics.

– Pedro Simón is a prestigious journalist well known for his social reports in which he demonstrates his mastery in the portrait of characters, one of the strong points of Los miscomprendidos.

Keys to the novel The Misunderstood by Pedro Simón:

FROM YOUR NARRATIVES The Misunderstood is narrated by Javier and his daughter Inés alternately. The odd chapters for him; the pairs, for her. There is one exception: chapter 14—an epilogue—is narrated by Clara, Javier’s sister. Each chapter is structured, in turn, into several sections that have a thematic or temporal unity.

SILENCE AS A THEME, SILENCE AS A TECHNIQUE Silence in family relationships is one of the great themes that Pedro Simón addresses in the novel. He also uses it as a prominent narrative element. The two first-person voices keep silent about some things, which, little by little, the reader comes to know thanks to the alternation of narrators and the evolution of those same characters. The sections in which Javier turns off his voice and expresses his feelings in writing stand out for their deep meaning.

TECHNICAL DOMAIN This use of silence is based on a remarkable technical mastery. Pedro Simón uses stylistic resources of all kinds with ease: comings and goings in time, very precise use of metaphors, changes of rhythm based on punctuation that highlights dramatic moments, and rich prose, carefully crafted and adapted to the different characters and their circumstances.

THE TEMPORAL AND PHYSICAL FRAME As we will see later, the novel takes place in three different time periods, which frame the action and help to better portray the characters. The settings – Carabanchel and Boadilla del Monte, above all – play a fundamental role in that they symbolise Javier’s evolution, the metaphor of a generation that aspired to exchange the flat in the depressed neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the city for a chalet in an upper-middle-class area.

«The life of any family responds to the inexorable laws of optics: for there to be shadows, there must first be light.» Javier

On the fundamental role of the scenarios in The Misunderstood:

The two main settings of the novel are Carabanchel and Boadilla del Monte, in Madrid, although they could be changed for other similar settings throughout Spain: Ciudad Meridiana and Sant Cugat, in Barcelona, ​​or La Macarena and Santa Clara, in Seville, to name just two cities.

Carabanchel appears twice. Javier grew up in a tiny flat in the neighbourhood, a dark first floor with only two rooms. When they got married, he and Celia stayed in Carabanchel Alto, in a flat of seventy-five square metres. For some time, friends who had gone to live in Aravaca, the Pasillo Verde or Boadilla del Monte asked them with surprise if they planned to continue living there. They raised their eyebrows in undisguised surprise when they answered yes.

Until Celia said that the four of them couldn’t fit on that floor and that she was tired of the children having to smell like pot in the porches. And she did not stop looking for a new home until she found the ideal house in Boadilla.

For a large part of the baby boom generation born in working-class neighbourhoods, one of the measures of success in life is moving to a well-off area. The transition from a small flat to a huge house, from the working-class outskirts to the middle-class suburbs.

Source: https://algunoslibrosbuenos.com/los-incomprendidos

Leave a Reply