The narrative of Solitude Island coincides with a train journey an eighteen-year-old, Lucía, is taking from the port city in Galicia where she grew up to the city where she is going to study for a degree in journalism. Interspersed throughout the narrative are excerpts from a diary, Autumn Diary, written by a tramp who used to live in the square, Matchstick Square, outside the sandwich bar run by Lucía’s parents. Lucía is curious about the tramps’ lives, she observes them from her attic window. The tramps know this, and this is why they have nicknamed her Nosy. The author of the diary is Mara Ribera, but she prefers the name Solitude, or simply Lonely. She has lost the love of her life, Jean Barnard, a French sculptor who was responsible for the statue of a matchstick seller in the centre of the square. We are introduced to some of the other ‘islands’ in the square – Cosme, who rejected the family business in order to pursue his vocation as an artist; Marcelino, a blind violinist; some rougher types like Zacarías, a legendary tramp turned criminal, Grimaldi and Pinta… At the first stop on Lucía’s journey, a young man boards the train. Lucía will end up feeling the need to share with him all her experiences, her burning desire to pay attention to the plight of those less fortunate than herself and to redress the balance.
Publication Date: 14 October 2022 / Language: English / Paperback: 102 pages / Dimensions: 203 x 133 mm / Price: £8.99 / €11.99 / $13.99