The first week of February, Seix Barral has published Take me homethe latest book by Jesús Carrasco.
When my friend Carmen tells me that she is reading this book, I hurry to buy it, because one of my pleasures is to be able to exchange opinions about what I read. With it, I discover an author -Jesús Carraso Jaramillo- whose agile writing, rich language and deep knowledge of human psychology I like.
The official synopsis of the book reports: "John has managed to become independent far from his country when he is forced to return to his small hometown due to the death of his father. His intention, after the funeral, is to resume his life in Edinburgh as soon as possible, but his sister gives him news that changes his plans forever. Thus, without intending to, she will find herself in the very place she decided to escape from."
This weekend, the main national media published interviews with the author. If it is not already, it will soon be one of the best-selling books of the year; in any case, it is one of those few books, of all those published in a year, that are worth reading, having on your bookshelf at home... and reading again.
With my friend Carmen I will talk about the four main characters and much more..., but here I will only share some personal reflections about Juan, the youngest son, the main character.
Juan sees his parents -he, a worker and farmer; she, a housewife; both born in the post-war period- "as emotionally handicapped". It is striking that Juan does not see himself as such, because he is undoubtedly also emotionally handicapped, and very much so!
Our protagonist "felt that only by distancing himself from his origin could he found his own life", but he ends up realizing that "he is made of the same clay as his father, [and that] one cannot run away from oneself, nor hide".
He only has eyes for his navel, "he doesn't allow himself to think outside his own skin", and there are many consequences of his egocentrism. "His greatest difficulty is not being fully aware of what is going on around him," never having felt concerned about the needs of another person, and not caring about his family.
Juan needs to feel loved, like everyone else. It is when he realizes the unconditional love of his sister that his healing begins. She tells him: "We will go to the bottom with you, if you go down. Because that way we can get you out of there". He "still feels his sister's hand on his cheek, he cannot express the relief he feels, but his body does, muscular distension, vasodilatation, slight hypotension, incipient euphoria". His sister is a gift to the whole family.
Knowing and feeling loved enables him - and everyone else - to come out of himself, to accept his reality and to be able to embark on the path of understanding others.