Casas vacías opens with a mother who loses her son: “Daniel disappeared three months, two days and eight hours after his birthday. He was three years old. He was my son.” The story unravels the mystery of Daniel’s sudden disappearance but there is another story that unfolds in parallel— not at the park where he vanished nor at the house where he arrives but within the minds of the novel’s two protagonists: the biological mother—whose devastating pain is mined by the regret of ever having a child—and the new mother who risked it all to have him. Told through these two carefully crafted voices Navarro’s brilliant novel explores the pain of losing a child, but also the social impositions of motherhood, whether it is wanted or unwanted.
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