National Book Award-finalist: an “ingenious social satire” of the “arrogance, folly, injustice, and debauchery” among Spain’s privileged class (The Atlantic).
Solita, a young daughter of refugees from Fancisco Franco’s dictatorship in Spain, is whisked from the urban ghetto of Galmeda to El Topaz, the lush hacienda of a wealthy eccentric, which Solita’s mother assures her will be paradise. But behind its beautiful facade, El Topaz is a quagmire of social subterfuge, from its politicking adults to its spiteful children, and Solita finds herself alone in a glittery world where “you couldn’t trust anything. Or anybody. You had to navigate completely on your own.”
Yet somehow, with only her sharp eye for separating truth from insincerity, Solita must weave her way through the social minefield of this supposed Spanish Shangri-La, searching for the happiness and harmony promised by her family’s liberation. Nominated for the national Book Award, Elena Castedo’s Paradise wickedly skewers the follies and falsehoods, conniving and cluelessness, of society’s so-called elite.