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See How Much I Love You, by Luis Leante

The second paragraph of the third chapter is so long that it's almost a short story in its own right, at more than 500 words both in English and in the original Spanish:
En realidad aquel día no tenía turno de guardia, pero lo cambió con un compañero porque le resultaba muy duro pasar sola en casa una Nochevieja por primera vez en su vida. Fueron numerosas las ocasiones, durante los últimos meses, en que había hecho guardias en fechas que no le correspondían. Sin embargo aquélla, por lo que significaba para algunos la entrada en el nuevo siglo, resultaba algo especial. El Servicio de Urgencias del Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau estaba preparado para afrontar una noche de mucha actividad. Muy pocos albergaban la esperanza de dormir acaso dos o tres horas. Pero hasta las doce de la noche las urgencias que llegaron fueron incluso menos numerosas y graves que las de un día de diario. Aunque sin mucho trabajo que atender, la doctora Cambra iba de un sitio a otro tratando de mantener la mente ocupada. Acudía a la farmacia, rellenaba los huecos de gasa en el armario, se aseguraba de que las botellas de suero coincidieran con las que se habían pedido. Cada vez que entraba en la sala en donde estaba encendido el televisor, agachaba la cabeza y canturreaba por lo bajo para no reconocer su fracaso. Temía derrumbarse delante de sus compañeros en cualquier momento, como aquella vez en que rompió a llorar en mitad de un reconocimiento, mientras la auxiliar la miraba asustada, dudando entre atender a la doctora o a aquella anciana que se ahogaba por la presión de una costilla sobre los pulmones. Ahora, cada vez que escuchaba su nombre por la megafonía del Servicio de Urgencias, acudía enseguida sin pensar en otra cosa que en su trabajo. A veces algún residente o algún interno con muchas entradas en el cabello y nariz aguileña le recordaban a Alberto, todavía su marido. Pero, a diferencia de unos meses atrás, era capaz de sonreír. Llegaba incluso a imaginarlo preparando la cena junto a aquella radióloga de gimnasio y peluquería; él, que nunca había fregado un plato, que jamás había abierto los cajones de la cocina si no era para llevarse el sacacorchos. La última vez le pareció incluso que se había teñido las canas de las patillas y de las sienes. Lo imaginó también haciéndole la danza del vientre a la radióloga, y corriendo detrás de ella alrededor de la mesa del salón, en una de aquellas carreras de jungla que hacía tantos años que no practicaba con ella. Los sentimientos que le provocaba Alberto habían evolucionado de la amargura a la ironía, y de la ironía al sarcasmo. Nunca pudo imaginar que aquella persona que ocupó su vida desde muy joven pudiera parecerle, en apenas diez meses, un ser de trapo, vacío, falso, un auténtico hijo de puta. Le costaba trabajo recordar la cara de su marido cuando lo conoció, o cuando la paseaba por Barcelona en aquel Mercedes blanco, impoluto, brillante, perfecto, como él. Médico de estirpe, cardiólogo joven de carrera meteórica, seductor, inteligente, bello. La doctora Cambra no podía quitarse de la cabeza la imagen del que había sido su marido, durante veinte años, corriendo tras la joven radióloga. Cuando se cruzó en el pasillo con la doctora Carnero, anestesista de guardia, aún llevaba dibujada la sonrisa sarcástica en el rostro. Se miraron con complicidad.

She wasn’t actually supposed to be on duty that day, but she swapped her shift with a colleague because she would have found it very hard to spend New Year’s eve at home on her own for the first time in her life. In the last few months she’d taken extra shifts on numerous occasions. Still, this one was something special, given what the arrival of new century meant for so many people. The Casualty Ward of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau was prepared for a very busy night. Few staff were hoping to get more than two or three hours’ sleep. But, in fact, before midnight they admitted fewer, less serious cases than on a regular day. Although she didn’t have much to do, Doctor Cambra walked up and down trying to keep herself busy. She would go to the pharmacy, restock the cupboard with gauze, and make sure they had received as many bottles of saline solution as had been ordered. Every time she walked into the staff room where the TV was on, she would hang her head and sing to herself in a mumble to stave off her despair. She was afraid she might break down in front of her colleagues at any moment, like that time she had burst into tears in the middle of an examination, while the nurse looked on in distress, not sure whether he should tend to the doctor or to the elderly woman who couldn’t breathe because a rib was pressing on her lungs. Now, every time Doctor Cambra heard her name through the loudspeakers of the casualty ward, she went wherever she was needed without thinking about anything except her work. At times an intern with a badly receding hairline and an aquiline nose would remind her of Alberto, who was still her husband. But, unlike a few months before, she was able to smile. She could even picture him cooking dinner with that radiologist who was obsessed with the gym and the hairdresser’s; he who had never done the dishes and had never opened a kitchen drawer except to take out a corkscrew. The last time she’d seen him it looked as though he had dyed the grey hairs on his temples and sideburns. She also imagined him belly dancing for the radiologist, and chasing her around a coffee table, in one of the wild cat-and-mouse games that he hadn’t played with her for years. Her feelings for Alberto had changed from sadness to irony, and from irony to sarcasm. She would never have imagined that someone who had been such an important part of her life since her youth would become, in barely ten months, a sort of rag doll, an empty, fake being – a veritable bastard. She found it hard to remember what he looked like when they’d met, at the time when he drove around Barcelona in that white, impeccable, polished, perfect Mercedes of his, it was just like him. A doctor from a family of doctors, a young cardiologist with a brilliant career, he’d been seductive, intelligent, handsome. Now, Doctor Cambra could not rid her mind of the image of her husband of twenty years chasing the young radiologist. When she bumped into Doctor Carnero, the anaesthetist on duty, she was still wearing a sarcastic smile on her face. They looked at each other in complicity.
This novel won Spain's prestigious Alfaguera Prize in 2007; I bought it in 2010 because I was then working with the Frente Polisario for the cause of Western Sahara, and there are not a lot of books set there.

It's a story of interlocking timelines. In 2000, Montse Cambra, a Barcelona doctor whose marriage has broken up, unexpectedly finds a link to the boy who loved her and left her in 1974, as the Franco regime neared its end, We follow their romance early in that crucial year, his fate as a disappearing member of the Spanish Foreign Legion as the year ended and the Moroccans invaded, and her journey from Barcelona a quarter-century later after she finds a clue to his fate in the possessions of an accident victim who dies in her hospital. It's very well done - Barcelona of course is well realised, both in the 1970s and the turn of the century, but so are the different environments of North Africa - the corrupt garrison town at the end of the regime, the refugee camps near Tindouf, the town itself and the desert; and indeed the desperate human relationships between Montse and Santiago in the earlier timeline and between each of them and the people they respectively encounter in the Sahara later on. The twist ending is rather well done. But the point of the book is the scenery as much as the plot; it is (rightly) sympathetic to the plight of the Saharawis, promised self-determination by the International Court of Justice and denied it by Spain, Morocco, and the indifferent great powers, and the interleaving of the plot strands works particularly effectively. Recommended.

This was the non-genre fiction book that had been lingering longest on my unread shelves, since I bought it in 2010. Next on that list is Every Step You Take, by Maureen "Vicki" O'Brien.

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