"The American debut of a highly acclaimed young Spanish writer: a darkly funny, acerbic novel about love -- and the end of love -- and how hard it can be to let go. There's a lot about Joan-Marc that his estranged second wife doesn't know -- but which he now sets out to tell her. He begins with the failure of his first marriage to an American woman named Helen, describing a vacation they took in a last-ditch attempt to salvage their once-passionate romance. The recollection of this il--fated trip triggers in him a series of flashbacks through which he narrates his life story, hopscotching between Barcelona and Madrid. Starting from pivotal moments in his childhood -- his earliest sexual encounters, his father's suicide, his mother's emotional decline--he moves through the years to the origin of his relationship with Helen and the circumstances surrounding its deterioration. The result is a provocative exploration of memory, nostalgia, romance, the ways in which the past takes hold-- a powerful portrait of a man struggling with his illusions about life and love"-- Provided by publisher.