Book review: Spanish novelist Elena Medel’s The Wonders brings poetry to a cross-generational tale of women’s lives

Medel doesn’t waste a single word in the telling of the story of grandmother and granddaughter María and Alicia, decades apart, as they navigate work, friendship, independence and love

Elena Medel’s debut novel The Wonders is an exploration of cross-generational womanhood. Picture: Laura C. Vela

After publishing her first volume of poetry at the age of 16, Spanish writer Elena Medel went on to win the XXVI Loewe Prize for Young Writers and the Princess of Girona Foundation Award 2016 in the Arts and Literature category. In addition, she has published three essay collections on poetry and a children’s book, so her debut novel, The Wonders, comes highly anticipated.

Translated to English by Lizzie Davis and Thomas Bunstead, The Wonders ...