Set amongst the rolling vineyards and gentle courtyards of a small seaside village in Catalonia, Patrick O'Brian's second novel is a poignant story of tumultuous love, complex faith and one man's desperate bid to reclaim his humanity. Summoned from his medical practice in China by a bevy of anxious aunts, Alain Roig returns to his Catalan ...
Set amongst the rolling vineyards and gentle courtyards of a small seaside village in Catalonia, Patrick O'Brian's second novel is a poignant story of tumultuous love, complex faith and one man's desperate bid to reclaim his humanity. Summoned from his medical practice in China by a bevy of anxious aunts, Alain Roig returns to his Catalan hometown to discover he has been nominated by family members with vested interests in the ancestral property to prevent an impending marriage between his cold, ascetic cousin Xavier and Madeleine, a quiet, introspective village girl of unusual beauty. As Alain seeks to understand his cousin's complex motivations for wooing the unhappy girl, he is slowly drawn into Xavier's dark crisis of faith, the well-worn pattern of the sleepy Catalan days and the tight circle of village gossip that surrounds Madeleine. Throughout, Patrick O'Brian's slow, seductive narrative lures the reader into the landscapes, rhythms and passions of Catalonia, while his subtle, insightful characterisation paints a psychological portrait of a unique way of life and two very different men -- one generous and impulsive, the other desperate to revive in his soul the dying flames of affection which he senses could be his salvation. With themes and characters that in many ways prefigure his enormously successful Aubrey/Maturin series, THE CATALANS demonstrates all the insight, lyricism and psychological drama that made O'Brian one of the best storytellers of his generation.
New. This item is printed on demand. Alan Roig returns to Saint-Feliu to find his family in crisis. His dour cousin Xavier, mayor and most powerful citizen of the town, plans to marry the daughter of the local grocer. Unfortunately she does not return his aff.
I picked this book because I very much enjoyed O'Brien's Capt Aubrey series...unfortunately this book did not match up in terms of content ..I found it dull and unexciting..the characters uninteresting and the plot profoundly boring. I had hoped for some insight to The Catalans themselves and their history and what makes them different from the Spanish..no such insight was forthcoming.
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