The Dear Ones


The Dear Ones by Berta Dávila

Title: The Dear Ones
Author: Berta Dávila
Translation from Galician: Jacob Rogers
Original title: Os seres queridos
Publishing date: 15th June 2023
Pages: 192   | ISBN 978-1-7398236-8-9
Price: £12.99

 ‘A new mother is a place where there is no room for controversy or regret, because everything must be occupied by happiness. And I don't want to go back to that place.

‘I have never experienced maternal love because I don't love my son for the fact that I am a mother, but for who he is.

The Dear Ones is a book about a woman who decides to have an abortion five years after having a child. A mother full of guilt, who does not fit into the imposed canon. It is a book in where the protagonist advocates for the freedom of choice: to continue to be herself and, at the same time, to be a mother. She defends the choice not to procreate again.

The idea of guilt in motherhood, the obligation to feel a certain way, the way in which others relate to women's decisions and the loneliness implicit in all the processes that involve taking in emotions that are considered incorrect or atavistic, an enormous isolation that is invisible to others, hover over the pages of the book. It is a story about emotional bonds.

Berta Dávila's prose is transparent, simple and accurate. But its skeleton is made up of a temporal braid in which a writer recalls the birth and first months of life of her son just when, five years later, she has decided to have an abortion and not have her second. She does this through a slimmed-down writing and a direct structure, without rhetorical embellishments. Everything is bone.