Albert Corner i Espiga left the Cuban war behind a long time ago. His grandmother Mariona told him to come back alive and he kept his promise. But on his return he was no longer the conscript racked by poverty and misfortune, but a new man: a survivor. These newly acquired instincts have helped him to accumulate a fortune, make connections with the Catalan haute bourgeoisie and form an upper class, well-heeled family. These are stormy times and the sparks are just beginning to fly. The Regionalist League wins the 1901 elections under the leadership of Cambó and Prat de la Riba. The monarchists and Lerrouxists are organizing and the state is beginning to react. Catalonia is rife with fear and uncertainty but also great hope and excitement. Albert’s family embodies the violent contradictions of turbulent times that will culminate in the Tragic Week of 1909. Barcelona will bloom with fire, but also ash.
The novel powerfully relives the tale of a turbulent time through the experiences of Albert Corner’s family. The characters symbolize the contradictions of a unique, tempestuous political period in which right is on no-one’s side.