Ben Williamson has lost a daughter. While studying abroad in Madrid,
Michelle Williamson was caught in a bombing by Basque separatists, a bombing
that killed her and several members of the Guardia Civil at a post in a
park. For Ben, this act of violence has left only questions, and at a moment
of despair he decides to seek out the reasons for Michelle's death. As Ben
begins to learn about the endless tensions beneath the surface of Spanish
culture, he finds that he wants someone to answer for his loss.
Ben's other daughter, Annie, is also wrestling with the loss of her sister. When she follows her father to Spain, she finds a changed man.
Haunting and beautiful, House of the Deaf is the story of one man's brush with terrorism and his quest to find answers.
But no one dies in the right place
Or in the right hour
And everyone dies sooner than his time
And before he reaches home.
When Ben sensed they were getting close, he signaled the taxi
driver to let him off. Calle Isaac Peral, a strange name for a street in Madrid,
but for some reason names were important to him, and he wanted to get them
right. He paid the driver and tipped him fifty pesetas. Deliberately, as though
stepping off terrain, he continued on foot, passing a travel agency, a photocopy
center, a cafeteria with pastries in the window, a fitness center and a book
store. Across a narrow side street was a large gray hospital, Hospital Militar
Generalisimo Franco, that occupied much of the next block. Then a pharmacy, a
bar advertising comidas caseras, and a marblefaced apartment building.
If hed been back in Lexington, Kentucky, where he lived, he would not have been able to identify the neighborhood he was in ...
Herrin doesn't deliver easy answers, and the ending is somewhat ambiguous but nonetheless appropriate and satisfying.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (902 words).
Who are the Basque separatists?
Euskadi Ta Azkatasuna (ETA) stands for Basque Homeland and Freedom. The group seeks independence for seven regions in northern Spain and South-West France that they claim as their own. The ETA first appeared in the 1960s as a student resistance movement opposed to General Franco's military dictatorship (Franco banned the Basque language, suppressed their culture and had Basque intellectuals tortured for their beliefs).
Since Franco's death in 1975 Spain's Basque country now has more autonomy than any other region in Spain, including its own parliament, police force, education policies and ability to collect taxes, but hardline ETA members and supporters remain determined to ...
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