nudo

The latest addition to my website is Sergio Galindo‘s Nudo [Knot]. This tells the story of a ménage à quatre (which later evolves into a ménage à cinq), though, despite this name (given by one of the characters), there is little bed-hopping. The main couple are Allan and Nan Brown. She is Canadian and had moved to Mexico, to live with her father’s best friend, after she was left an orphan aged fifteen. She had met, fallen in love with and married Allan, an artist six years her senior, when she was serving as a nurse in London during the war. They moved to Mexico for his health, following a wartime injury. The third member of the group is Daniel, six years younger than Nan, the son of the family with whom she had lived in Mexico. The remaining two are Daniel’s first and second wives. Ivonne, the first wife, remains with the group, after she and Daniel divorce and he marries Laura. Much of the novel is about the underlying tension within the group, culminating in Nan’s (very) brief fling with Daniel. Well before that, the group drink and talk and argue but, all the while, there is a simmering tension which Galindo superbly portrays. Ultimately, the message is the refrain used by Geoffrey Firmin in Under the Volcano: no se puede vivir sin amar [You can’t live without loving].