Rebecca C. (Opelika, AL)
A Deep and sensitive read.
I was slightly surprised when reading this book. I always think of immigration as being mainly to the US, but don't think much about it in other countries. Trueba has faced not only family issues straight on, but immigration and prejudice issues in Spain. Just one small moment in this story can change a life forever or sends a person down a path they never dreamed of taking. The writing bounces between tenses like a ping pong ball which keeps you hopping. The only reason I did not rate the book higher was I felt that no one family could possibly have so many accidents, bad decisions, poor luck and accept it all so willingly. I do really enjoy reading international fiction and getting to know new authors and new cultures better. This book was no exception.
Christine B. (St Paul, MN)
Learning to Lose
This is a poignant and remarkable story about three generations in a family each "learning to lose" some aspect of their identity. What they each learn about themselves and each other is what ties the characters together and relates to all of us as we struggle with our own decisions in life and how we learn to live with their consequences. I highly recommend this book.
Cynthia B. (Puyallup, WA)
Learning to Lose is a Winner!
The epitome of a page-turner, you continue on even though the alarm is set to go off in 2 hours – but you have to know what happens next, what secret will be revealed, what are the implications? Is it possible to read between your fingers covering your eyes? You bet! Perhaps it is because of his background in screenwriting that Mr. Trueba’s ability to create such vividly real points of view from multiple characters is so well honed – in any case, we can only hope that his previous works will be translated and that more will be available from this very gifted man.
Eileen E. (Asheville, NC)
A City comes alive and pulses
From the minute I started reading this book I knew I was embarking on a trip with an extraordinary writer. We are seriously considering this title for our book club because it has all the elements that get a good conversation started.
Morality, sexuality, reality, and other ...ity's. All are dealt with in an original and invigorating approach.
Eileen F. (Drexel Hill, PA)
Living in Madrid
This would be a good book for clubs because of the many moral questions it raises about modern urban life. The characters are repeatedly faced with choices that change their lives and futures. They also have complicated relationships with one another. My biggest problem with the book was its length. The story did keep you wanting to see how things turn out.
Trezeline B. (Columbia, MD)
What A Book!
You are introduced to Aurora at the very beginning of the book. She injures her hip while dressing. Her husband, Leandro feels a strange compulsion to visit a house of ill repute and gives in to his lusting. Their 40 something son commits a murder. And his 16 year old daughter is hit by a car driven by a rich soccer player late one night.
These all work together to force you to keep reading to find out how all of these circumstances work themselves out.
While reading, I wanted so much to be part of a book club so that I could engage in a good discussion about motivations, life as experienced by the characters and fairness.
The ending is not expected, yet it satisfies. This is the first time I have read anything by Trueba, a Spanish writer who was translated by Mara Faye Lethem, but I will read his future books. Although translated, it reads very well. This book is a good read.