TRUEBA, David: Learning to Lose. 2008. [Original title: Saber perder. Translation by Maya Faye Lethem.]
“It’s the day of Sylvia’s 16th birthday and her life as an adult is about to begin — not with the party she had been planning, but with a car crash. At the wheel is a talented young footballer, just arrived from Buenos Aires, and set for stardom on and off the pitch. As their destinies collide, elsewhere in the city Silvia’s father and grandfather are finding their own lives suddenly derailed by a violent murder and a secret affair.”
There’s not an only main character in this novel, but four — which is not unusual from David Trueba. Their four independent yet close stories take turns to flow easily.
Each of them represents a different stage of life; thus everyone is likely to get engaged in the reading, since you can surely sympathize with some of the characters. This is possible thanks to these small details that don’t alter their normal lives, but still make them more interesting than usual. This is, therefore, the story of our everyday life with a bit of the thrill that would make it special, different; for better or for worse.
Learning to Lose is Trueba’s third novel and I do love this writer’s work; common stories with a special touch and a tad of resignation — just look at the title.