OK, so I'm trying to come to terms with this novel. My first contact with it was last year in Catalan class where we watched the TV3 TV-movie version of the book. I didn't like it because I felt like it was too disjointed. I thought 'here they are trying to fit what must be a fantastic realist novel into a time slot and they have to sacrifice content to do it.' I assumed that the book was much more...complete?...whole?...fluid?
Anyway, the film left a lot to be desired.
Now I'm reading the novel and I realize that the joke was on me. I was hoping for a Galdosian realist novel in Catlan, and it just didn't happen. The title says it all: the broken mirror. I think Rodoreda's genius lies partly in that she is able to re-recreate and transmit the frustration that comes from looking at your reflection in a broken mirror. It turns out that what most frustrated me about the film is the thing I most love about the novel. I'm not sure why it works so much better on paper than on film, but with each new chapter I feel like the story becomes deeper - not clearer, or even more complete, but she adds facets. I like it.