María and her granddaughter Alicia have never met. Decades apart, both make the same journey to Madrid in search of work and independence.
María, scraping together a living as a cleaner and carer, sending money back home for the daughter she hardly knows; Alicia, raised in prosperity until a family tragedy, now trapped in a poorly paid job and a cycle of banal infidelities.
Their lives are marked by precariousness, and by the haunting sense of how things might have been different.
Through a series of arresting vignettes, Elena Medel weaves together a broken family’s story, stretching from the last years of Franco’s dictatorship to mass feminist protests in contemporary Madrid.
Audacious, intimate and shot through with razor-edged lyricism, The Wonders is a revelatory novel.