The three wounds: Paloma Sánchez Garnica

The three wounds

The three wounds

The three wounds is a contemporary historical and romantic novel written by the Madrid lawyer and author Paloma Sánchez Garnica. The work was published by the Planeta publishing house on February 14, 2022 under the collection Spanish and Ibero-American Authors. Upon release, the title has received mostly positive reviews from readers.

The novel It has been praised for the author's elegant and precise pen, as well as for the construction of a historical period of utmost importance for Spain.: the civil War. On the other hand, The three wounds addresses themes that relate to love, reconciliation, absence, loneliness and the reasons why it is worth living and dying.

Synopsis of The three wounds

A reason to write

The novel follows Ernesto Santamaría, a writer who leads a solitary life trying to write the magnificent story that will take him to the top of his literary career. In that desire, chance leads him to El Rastro, where discovers an old portrait of a couple, which was taken on July 19, 1936 on the outskirts of Madrid. The composition of the photograph and the moment contain something very special.

Since then, Ernesto He realizes that he has a great treasure in his hands, and is dedicated to investigating the fate of portrait lovers and how they lived their lives during and after the Civil War to conceive a great story. As the author reveals that he was one of the protagonists of the photo, the reader will have the opportunity to learn about Santamaría's future novel.

The beauty of metafiction

According to the author, The title of The three wounds is a nod to one of the most famous literary works of the Spanish poet and playwright Miguel Hernández Gilabert (1910-1942). Paloma Sánchez Garnica has stated that she admires the way in which the poet was able to say so many things using so few words and exchanging them to create his prose.

At the same time, the narrator and protagonist of The three wounds is inspired by an old photograph to create a book which, in the same way, becomes a central theme within Paloma Sánchez Garnica's own work. Although it may seem very complex, this circular narrative style is effective to the extent that the writer can cover the requirements of the puzzle that the metatext represents.

The characters of Ernesto Santamaría

While the author tries to clarify the drama what hides behind from photography, the future novel appears of Ernesto, where it is possible to meet of women: Mercedes Manrique, the young woman who appears in the photo with her husband, and Teresa Cifuentes. Over time, they become inseparable due to all the events they must go through together, generating an endearing friendship.

Somehow, each one intervenes in the present and the future of the other, they change and make each other grow until it becomes a fundamental pillar that supports the other. Both must experience the brutality, the perversity, the lack of scruples, the desire for revenge, the misery, the fear and the forced oblivion of the Civil War, as well as the horrors and a truncated existence.

An inherent need to survive

War It requires a kind of nap of consciousness, a blackout of the soul that allows us to rebuild a “normal” life after so much agony and pain.. This fact is reflected in the scenes that unfold in the mind of Ernesto Santamaría. After long periods of research, the protagonist cannot help but immerse himself in an almost misguided fantasy.

Ernesto does not always manage to discern between the historical reality of the couple's photo and everything that his mind is capable of conjuring up as the days go by. Reality and fiction are confused, as are waking and dreams. Much later, after seventy-four years, Teresa Cifuentes reveals to the protagonist the secrets hidden in the photo of the lovers.

Witness of a past history

In the historical narrative there are moments of great lucidity, especially when the author manages to bring a moment from the past to the present and manages to do so with a descriptive skill like that of Paloma Sánchez Garnica. Writing about the War is not only difficult because of the chaotic nature of that moment, but also because the passage of time dissolves the wounds and hides them under a mental rug.

When a writer digs into the past and extracts a reality like the Civil War, he becomes a witness to history itself. In this sense, Ernesto Santamaría transforms into a fly on the wall of that once, of love, of life and death, a being that closes in the only possible way a story presented under one of the most terrible arguments that has been born from the hearts of men.

About the author

Paloma Sánchez Garnica was born on April 1, 1962, in Madrid, Spain. He graduated in Law, Geography and History. She later worked as a lawyer, but abandoned this career to dedicate herself to literature, one of her passions. Her narrative has stood out for her historical genre novels where she mixes thriller and mystery, combining the past with the present.

Most of his works have been published by the Planeta publishing house, and has won several laurels in compensation for his work, the most important being the Fernando Lara Novel Prize (2016) for My memory is stronger than your forgetfulness, as well as his nomination for the Planeta Award (016) thanks to Last days in Berlin, a title that had originally been proposed as Children of wrath.

A curious fact about the writer is that her novel, The sonata of silence (2012), was converted into a series for TVE, which has positioned this and other books by Paloma Sánchez Garnica. Likewise, this text has established the author as one of the most popular modern literary icons in Spain.

Other books by Paloma Sánchez Garnica

  • The great arcanum (2006);
  • The breeze from the East (2009);
  • The soul of the stones (2010);
  • The three wounds (2012);
  • The sonata of silence (2014);
  • My memory is stronger than your forgetfulness (2016);
  • Sofia's Suspicion (2019);
  • Last days in Berlin (2021)

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