Throughout history many groups have been persecuted, limited and ostracized. Across cultures women have been at the fore front of these injustices. These are the catalysts that have allowed women to succeed. They have gone against tradition and convention, to become equal.
The novel Tiempo de Arena written by Inma Chacón is set in Toledo, Spain during the 19th century - 20th century. It is a story that transports the reader into the lives of three noble women. Munda, Alejandra and Mariana are sisters who are each unique in their own right. During tumultuous times, they find themselves in search of their identity, equality and the answers to life’s questions. Tiempo de Arena’s subject matter will travel well in the states due to its traditional and contemporary pivotal themes.
Chacón blends a mix of cultural and historical references along with personal struggle. She illustrates the social conflicts that women face in society. All of these elements are traits of a good story that transcends time.
Inma Chacon’s style of writing is fluid and makes use of poetic techniques that help to frame events. Each line is poetically infused with beautiful details, imagery and symbolism. Chacón crafts creative and vivid descriptions of the setting, the time period and the characters. She includes details about the emotions portrayed by the characters, what the character is doing, wearing and saying. This style of writing makes the story easy to grasp and very real.
The language helps to create an extraordinary dialogue which conveys the feeling as if though one were actually present. Chacón uses language that is common and sensible so as to take command of each character and their day to day exchanges with people in and outside of the family. Her story makes the characters journey come to life creating situations that the reader can relate to. With each paragraph, the plot unfolds, becoming more involved, and the level of suspense continues to rise. Due to the complexity of the events in the plot the story is quite entertaining, intriguing and hard to put down.
This story addresses the conflicts faced by women of every age, class and race, who are struggling, against the traditional and social conventions. The theme of social conflict in this novel is prevalent throughout all of history and literature. It is classic and spans across all the cultures of the world. This makes for a book that would attract a great number of readers and gain in popularity.
A story such as this creates a bridge between all walks of life. The title in itself marks time. The moment in time when one has to endure, the way in which time can pass and change can occur. It is in many ways philosophical in its outline. The novel opens up with a quote from Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. This quote connotes a time of uncertainty, darkness, and transition in which the journey for truth is unraveling. This is pertinent due to the fact that since the beginning of time, the human race has sought answers to life’s questions, involving self-identity and most importantly equality.
A work of this magnitude is comparable to many of the best-selling contemporary works and authors i.e.; Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code and Isabel Allende’s, Portrait in Sepia. To works written by the classical authors that are in the literary cannon such as: Joseph Conrad, Shakespeare, and Lorca. Since this novel can be compared to these authors it goes without saying that it will be suitable for translation. It is important to translate a work that has a powerful message and illustrates a relatable theme such as this. Chacón has a way with words and a style that will translate well in any language.