Tomas is a farmer, the richest man in his rural village. Rough and taciturn, as solid as the cattle he breeds, as rooted in the land as the eucalyptus trees he grows under the Galician sun. When he’s diagnosed with lung cancer, he tells no-one.
Suiza is a damaged young woman, strikingly beautiful, barely literate, a run-away. Her only dream, to see the sea.
When Tomas meets Suiza’s gaze he’s seized with irrepressible desire. Unable to contain his impulses, desperate to seize at the life he feels trickling away, Tomas forces himself on the young woman. Is he a monster, or a terrified human being? As lust gives way to shame, and anger to remorse, something that resembles true love starts growing in his heart, and is seemingly reciprocated.
The relationship grows ever more passionate and tender, a mutual surrendering, and a promise of healing. But just as happiness beckons, the darkness that has been spreading underneath the whole time reveals itself, bringing the narrative to its heart- stopping, heart-wrenching denouement.
Bénédicte Belpois lives in Besançon, where she works as a midwife. She spent her childhood in Algeria. Suiza, her first novel, was written during a long stay in Galicia.