Title: The Dear Ones
Author: Berta Dávila
Translation from Galician: Jacob Rogers
Original title: Os seres queridos
Publishing date: 22nd June 2023
Pages: 192 | ISBN 978-1-7398236-8-9
‘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, five years after giving birth, decides to have an abortion. A mother full of guilt, who does not fit into the imposed canon. It is a book in which the protagonist defends the freedom of choice: to continue to be herself and to be a mother at the same time.
The idea of guilt in motherhood, the obligation to feel a certain way, the loneliness implicit in all processes that involve taking in emotions that are considered wrong or atavistic, and an enormous isolation that is invisible to others, hover over the pages of the book.
’s prose is transparent, simple and precise. But its skeleton is made up of a temporal braid in which a writer recalls the birth and the first months of her son’s life, just when, five years later, she has decided to have an abortion and not to have her second. She does this with a slimmed-down style and a direct structure, without any rhetorical flourishes. Everything is bones.