Where are you going, Iryna? (Paperback)

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"Someone once said that what makes a literary

work is what we might call "excellent use of

language". Well, the novel "Where are you going,

Iryna?" is undoubtedly a perfect example of this,

packed with rare quality and sensitivity. Combining

great narrative style and extreme delicacy,

the author shows us the grim reality for the

people of Ukraine of the tragedy that happened

at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 during and after

the accident at the nuclear power station.

The story focuses on the character of Iryna,

the people around her, and the experiences she

and her brother Vasyl have in Catalonia with a

host family when they are children. Flashing

backwards and forwards in time without ever

losing clarity, the novel places us at different

periods in Iryna's exciting life as, despite the

serious difficulties she often faces, she manages

to maintain her enthusiasm and desire to get on.

Iryna's story is inspiring but also reminds us of

just how far human beings can go wrong when we

fail to calibrate certain technological applications

correctly. The Chernobyl disaster should certainly

not be forgotten considering that the price we

normally pay when we lose our collective

memory is repeating the same mistakes.

All this makes Rosa Maria Pascual's novel an

excellent, must-read book for remembering what

it means to contaminate land for centuries

- something that should never, ever happen again.

I was a young journalist in the UK when the nuclear accident

at Chernobyl happened. At first it seemed like another of the

many terrible things that happen in far-off countries and

make only brief headlines in our media before quickly disappearing

from the front pages. Soon, though, a radioactive

cloud began spreading across Europe and, perhaps for the

first time, we were all forced to realise what a small, fragile

world we live in.

Three decades on, Rosa Maria Pascual's splendid novel

tells the stories that weren't heard at the time: what happened

- and is still happening - to the people living around

the nuclear power station in what was then the Soviet Union

and is now Ukraine. From the first page it is a compelling

read: a multi-stranded road movie of a book interweaving

first-hand accounts of the explosion itself and its horrific

consequences; the journey of a woman from far-away Catalonia

to discover the truth of the disaster as she helps children

affected by its consequences; and the odyssey of one

of those Chernobyl children who goes on the run with her

young daughter to escape an unpleasant fate in her own


There's a lot more too. This is a book about nationalism

and politics, about human nature, about little-known cultures

and, most of all, about women and their defiant love for

parents, children, husbands and lovers, set against a background

of disaster and tragedy. Because even in the darkest

situations, love offers a glimmer of hope for us all.

Product Details
ISBN: 9788480103305
ISBN-10: 8480103302
Publisher: Munoz Moya Editores Extremenos S.L.
Publication Date: April 11th, 2021
Pages: 426
Language: English