poppies in october is a novel written by the Spanish bibliophile and bookseller Laura Riñón Sirera. She, precisely, is the manager of the famous bookstore that, at the same time, bears the name of the work cited in this review, and which is located in the center of Madrid. The title was published by the Espasa publishing house in 2016, and has generated favorable opinions since its launch.
Many criticisms and reviews include Laura Riñón's book within romantic fiction. However, poppies in october touches on issues beyond love -although, it should be noted, these themes never stray from the feelings of their characters. Among them, affective responsibility and the importance of family stand out. In the same way, there is a very important factor within the novel: literature as a lifeline.
Table of Contents
Synopsis of poppies in october (2016)
books as therapy
The plot revolves around the life of Carolina, a woman about to enter her forties who is owner let, a wonderful bookstore. Life goes by sweetly until the protagonist's parents suffer a terrible accident. His father passes away, and his mother, Barbara, is bedridden in a hospital bed, speechless. At that moment, Carolina's life collapses, because those who gave her her life constitute her entire universe.
That is when the main character discovers a way to bring his mother back to sanity. It is a therapy that could return your speech: every day thereafter he sits by her side and read for her books that have kept a meaning in the youth of the protagonist and in the life of her mother. They are texts that Barbara taught her to love, and that Carolina hopes will help her recover.
Fictional stories are examples of overcoming
As Carolina picks up the books and reads their pages with hope, she rediscovers her own life: her childhood, adolescence, and present. Through the stories of the various titles, the protagonist weaves together the story of her own experiences, at the same time as she puts together a meticulous puzzle of memories that are made up of the moments that you have gone through with your loved ones. In this regard, Laura Riñón Sirera says: "Carolina is the spinal cord, but each character has her story."
In this way -through literary titles, book citations and reflections- Carolina narrates each anecdote with her parents, her friends, her brother Guillermo, her love affairs and sentimental adventures that led her to make solitude a special and safe place.
The family of the protagonist is one of the central axes of the story.. As readers, it is possible to observe how this group, despite having all the resources to be happy, does not know how to accumulate more than misfortunes.
The path to herself
In addition to letters and love in all its aspects, poppies in october is a novel that emphasizes the concept of finding oneself. This is something that can be consciously noticed in the way Carolina illustrates her readings and accompanies them with snippets of her biography. At the beginning of the plot the protagonist is a woman lost among your dream bookstore and the reality of his deceased father and sick mother. Even so, she reaches a level of clarity later.
This light that guides her stems from a teaching that her father imposed at home since she was very young.: When Carolina and her brother Guillermo felt bad, Bárbara, with a beautiful calligraphy, wrote literary quotes on the mosaic in the kitchen.
After doing that, I added the name of the book or the author. The purpose was that, passing through the small room, the boys felt that someone, somewhere, had lived the same as them. Consequently, the beautiful gesture made them feel better.
Literature as a key character in history
When Carolina finds herself cornered and tormented by her family situation, she resorts to the exercise of remembering quotes from books to overcome discomforts installed in the kitchen of her parents' house. It is possible to understand the value that Laura Riñón Sirera makes her characters give to literature. That is how the books and their respective stories become characters within the plot.
In the middle of his readings, Carolina reveals titles that will help her to be a better person, to discover who she was as a human being. She also tells how another volume taught her to get to know her parents better, to discover more fully how to cope with her love and loss, and how to come to understand what is now one of her best friends.
The words in each volume encourage her, keep her steadfast in her task reading to his mother, remind him of the beauty and comfort that, deep down, we all seek when we sit down to enjoy a book.
About the author, Laura Riñón Sirera
Laura Riñón Sirera was born in 1975, in Zaragoza, Spain. The author studied law until her fourth year, a career she abandoned to become a flight attendant. However, his great passion was always books. He read and wrote on his flight breaks. One day, a friend of hers called her to tell her that she was leaving her store, news that Laura took advantage of to open one of the most famous bookstores in Madrid: Poppies in October.
As a result of that birth, he dedicated himself entirely to transforming a small clothing store into a meeting place where culture was the main protagonist. Over time, both the bookstore and its bookstore became a benchmark. Meanwhile, Laura continued with her passion for writing, because, according to her: “If you gave me a choice of one thing to do in my life… well, two: it would be to drink wine and write. Before reading”.
Other books by Laura Riñón Sirera
- Owner of your destiny (2014);
- The sound of a train at night (2020);
- all we were (2021);
- Letters from Massachusetts (2022).
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