A psychologically twisting novel about a politically charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid.
It's 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain's northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants. Five years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a young local politician - a family man and father - and the town's rhythms have almost returned to normal. But in the aftermath of the Atocha train bombings in Madrid, an act of terrorism that rocked the nation and the world, the townspeople want a reckoning of Muriga's own troubled past: Everyone knows who pulled the trigger five years ago, but is the young man now behind bars the only one to blame?
All That Followed peels away the layers of a crime complicated by history, love, and betrayal. The accounts of three townspeople in particular - the councilman's beautiful young widow, the teenage radical now in jail for the crime, and an aging American teacher hiding a traumatic past of his own - hold the key to what really happened. And for these three, it's finally time to confront what they can find of the truth.
Inspired by a true story, All That Followed is a powerful, multifaceted novel about a nefarious kind of violence that can take hold when we least expect. Urgent, elegant, and gorgeously atmospheric, Urza's debut is a book for the world we live in now, and it marks the arrival of a brilliant new writer to watch.
A wonderfully written book that introduces the reader into a very complicated culture. The author writes the vision so well that at many points in the book I felt as though I was there.
If you could sum up All That Followed in three words, what would they be?
Compelling, tragic, earnest
Any additional comments?
This book was very engaging. I was hesitant at first because I don't feel any particular connection to Spain, even though I have traveled there, but the theme was so universal it did not matter. The characters developed and became very engaging because of the way they were connected. They were all earnest and true to themselves, even if they showed vulnerable and unlikable traits. Well-written, interesting story that maintains an even pace.
The author skillfully tells this story in vignettes from the perspectives of 3 main characters. Their different perspectives on events, themselves, and each other helps the reader experience the nuances of personal motivations & reactions surrounding the decades-long aftermath of the Spanish Civil War.
The narrators provided authentic voices to the characters, to the point that I felt twinges of sympathy while I still felt angry or disgusted at the character's actions.
The novel took me to a place, culture & time that I haven't visited in a novel before, and I found touchpoints relevant to my own life along the way.