The Basque Country, Spain, 2011. The day that terrorist group ETA announces a ceasefire, Bittori heads to the cemetery to visit the grave of her husband Txato – to tell him that she has decided to return to the home that they shared, the home she left after he was gunned down outside on the street.
Will she be able to live once againalongside those who turned their backs on her and her family, who shunned them just as the terrorists threats began, before the attack that would transform their lives? Will she ever know the identity of the hooded figure who killed her husband that rainy day, as he headed out to work?
Though she might try to lie low, Bittori’s return will disturb the brittle peace the town’s inhabitants have been clinging to – none more so than Miren, whose son Joxe Mari is serving time in prison for terrorism. Miren and Bittori were best friends – but that was a lifetime ago, before Txato was killed and the two women and their families, once so close, were torn apart . . .
Homeland is a gripping and devastating novel. It explores the meaning of family, friendship and what it is like to live in the shadow of violence. As readers, we are forced to recognize the impossibility of forgetting, and the need for forgiveness, in a community wrecked by political fanaticism.
Fernando Aramburu is one of the most outstanding of current writers in Spanish. His nine novels and four books of short stories have been widely praised. But it is his novel Patria (Homeland), acclaimed by critics and a stunning success among readers in Spain and across Europe, that has gained him the widest international readership. Homeland has been awarded numerous prizes, including the National Prize for Literature and the National Critics Prize in Spain and the Strega Europeo Prize and the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize in Italy.
He currently lives in Germany, where he worked as a Spanish teacher since 1985. Homeland is his first book to be translated into English.