Editorial: Plaza & Janés
Literary Category: historical fiction
Synopsis: An exceptional novel about love and destiny, memory and family secrets. In the beginning of the Second Republic, Lucía Oriol is a young aristocratic wife in a society in full transformation, whose life takes a 180-degree turn when she meets Francisco Anglada, a widowed entrepreneur of Jewish origin, who purchases a home from the Oriol family in the Calle Pintor Rosales. What starts out as a torrid love story, gets all tangled up when Jimena appears on the scene, Francisco’s conflictive daughter.
The relationship between Jimena and Lucia, the latter’s double life and the Anglada’s hidden past unleash a tornado of jealously, vengeance and betrayal from which no one will come out unscathed. The love of Lucía Oriol for a man trapped in the past and in the need to tell the truth and justice dispensed, feed this portrait of two lineages, based on real facts, in a convulsive pre-war Madrid.
With the richness of a master prose writer, Mercedes de Vega delves in our most intimate history to show that in all families there are hidden secrets which can turn out to be lethal. “When we are Alive” is not only about a woman who has to choose between reason and the heart, it is also the fresco of a period and of a city that will decide the fate of its protagonists.