One day, as she enters her local supermarket, Laura Romero has a startling encounter with a beggar, who seems to offer her a child. A short while later, in the middle of the night, she discovers a mysterious young boy on the pavement outside her apartment building: Fidel, who is six years old, a child with seemingly no origins or meaning. With few clues to guide her as she tries to discover his real identity, Laura finds herself swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of fantastical proportions. From the National Institute for the Welfare of Families to the Hearth & Home Centre, from imagined worlds to lost loves, The Children explores the limits of isolation and intimacy, motherhood, neglect and compassion, filtered through the lives of two lonely people, whose coming together is less for company and more to share their loneliness.
A tender, intelligent novel from a startling and brilliant new voice in English translation.
Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor