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The Goldsmith’s Secret

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The Goldsmith's Secret - Elia Barcelo, Translated by David Frye, book reviewProving that good things come in small packages, Elia Barcelo’s “The Goldsmith’s Secret” is a deliciously mysterious and alluring novella; Barcelo has the knack of a gifted story-teller using only a few sentences to draw in her reader and keep him, or her, entranced until the end.

The narrator is the eponymous goldsmith who, when the story opens, is middle-aged and reflecting on his life, focussing on a brief but passionate affair with Celia, an older woman – and friend of his mother – when he was a youth. In spite of what he hears of her from his friends and family, the headstrong determination of youth makes him deaf to their opinions. Decades later, returning to the Spanish town where he grew up, the goldsmith hopes that he might met up with Celia but, instead he meets a young woman who, it would appear, takes him back in time.

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