The Ashes in the Pool

Original Title: Les cendres a la piscina

Publication: 2023

Author: Laura Gost

The Ashes in the Pool is a colorful and ironic story that unfolds a familial tapestry that centers around Sebastià. Once a humble peasant farmer, Sebastià's life takes a turn as he amasses wealth by crafting hotels for tourists against the picturesque backdrop of Mallorca.

The novel kicks off on Sebastià's final day, as he bids adieu on his eighty-first birthday, surrounded by the company of his Venezuelan caretaker—a companion of only a year. In this poignant moment, Sebastià's reflections weave through the fabric of his life, touching upon the pivotal women who shaped his journey: Catalina, the mother of his children, Mercedes, and the enticing Brazilian Leidi.

As the narrative unfolds, concepts like success, money, work, love, sex, and family take on nuanced meanings that have evolved over Sebastià's years. Amidst this intricate familial tapestry, readers can detect the sharp and often satirical observations of a young chronicler with a burning ambition to fathom and document these fleeting lives.

The Ashes in the Pool beckons readers into a world where the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the complexities of human existence are laid bare through the lens of a perceptive storyteller.

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Winner of the Premi Proa de Novel·la (Proa Novel Award) 2023

Winner of the XXI Premi de Narrativa Maria Àngels Anglada 


"When we thought we had already exhausted the genre of autofiction, Gost manages to revive it in an elegant manner, like a nod to her family—and to their story." Mateu Sagarra, El Núvol

"After The World Becomes Easy, published in 2022, The Ashes in the Pool is a step forward: a new Laura Gost is here, as if Antònia Vicens’s granddaughter now had a Mallorcan Sally Rooney for a sister." Xavier Pla, President and spokesperson of the Proa Novel Award jury

"Through a thoughtfully crafted structure, readers are ushered into a series of scenes that breathe life into familial dynamics. The author's adept storytelling prowess shines through as everyday conversations and seemingly ordinary thoughts are skillfully woven into the narrative. This is no theatrical farce or contrived scenario designed for memorability. Instead, Gost extends an invitation to observe the ebb and flow of a Mallorcan family as they navigate the currents of time.” Adrià Pujols, El País

"A refreshing and well-balanced work, easy to read, culminating in an ending filled with poetic justice." Jury of the Maria Àngels Anglada Prize

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