Los lunes en el Ritz / Mondays at the Ritz
Los lunes en el Ritz is a women’s fiction and contains all the ingredients of the genre: personal development of an extraordinary young girl, the solidarity of the women who achieve the unthinkable by sticking together and a beautiful love story that transcends the frontiers, conspiracies and military conflicts.
Madrid, the end of 1929. Martina Romero, a young girl with an extraordinary talent for painting is attending her first party in the lounge of the elegant Ritz Hotel, after having urged her strict father, the hotel’s director, to let her do so. There she meets Bosco, an aspiring actor, with whom she has a bitter disagreement. Disappointed about the unsuccessful introduction into the high society, she decides to concentrate on what she considers her mission. Together with her mother, Eveline and her friends, they found the Association of Damas de la Caridad de San Vicente de Paul. This group of ladies organizes raffles, suppers, parties and charity sales to help Father Eugenio, a rather unconventional priest, whose aim in life is to protect the dignity of the poor. Meanwhile, behind the deceptive appearance of luxury and carelessness in the hotel, the country is seething with unrest. The dictator Primo de Rivera steps down and the political system changes from monarchy to the Republic. A massive wave of anticlerical violence produces the burning of hundreds of churches and convents all over the country, destroying a great part of the artistic heritage. Father Eugenio salvages three paintings, two Zurbaráns and one Van Dyck, and this risky step will lead to a series of actions which will require breaking of quite a number of moral norms and religious canons.
With this novel Nerea Riesco proves again that she feels at ease in each and every historical period she is writing about. What’s more, what we find out after having crossed the doors of the Ritz Hotel will not leave us indifferent
A fascinating setting which transports the reader to Madrid of the troubled 1920s and 1930s and illustrates with great detail both the opulent milieu of the rich and the misery of the less fortunate. Nerea Riesco succeeds in offering the reader the first-hand experience by incorporating ingeniously in the narration what was without doubt a demanding task of collecting documentary material. She achieves that by means of exquisite and elegant style, meticulous prose and rich and expressive language