The Cypresses Believe in God is an epic novel set in the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War. Set in Gerona's provincial capital from 1931 to 1936, the story methodically charts the public and private factors that eventually flared into war. Matas and Carmen Elgazu Alvear, and their three children, are at the heart of the novel: César, weirdly unique yet holy; Pilar, lovely and bright; and Ignacio, the protagonist, curious and idealistic. Through these characters and the ordinary life of Gerona, Gironella writes, “I have tried to capture the everyday traits, the mentality, the inner ambiance of my compatriots in all their pettiness and all their grandeur.”
"What thou seest, write in a book…" (The Book of Revelation)
The Cypresses Believe in God, a sprawling yet obsessively detailed work, is a work of unparalleled stature for its balance of historical reality and artistic expression. Humanity's vulnerability to the fickle dictates of ideology, as well as its incomprehensible potential for savagery, are written large throughout the two volumes, but so does its ceaseless search for meaning amidst multiplicity and its longing for lasting peace.
Paperback, 426 pages.