Day 6: The House

The House by Paco Rosa (translated by Andrea Rosenberg)

After their father passes, three adult siblings return to the summer house he built himself, to prepare it for sale.  Their father loved to keep busy, and as kids, he put them to work helping him. From gardening to building a stone wall. Even when they “went on strike” because they wanted a pool, he ended up agreeing, but they all dug the pool together. Returning to the house, they all face their grievances, and their loss.

There are feuds, some petty like who was supposed to buy paint, and some huge like to what extent each of them helped their father in his final days, and the biggest that Vincente (the oldest) decided alone whether or not to resuscitate their father. We’re shown their memories. At first, these memories are tense, but as the three children make their peace with each other, they remember good times.

The colors are muted, at times almost sepia-toned even in the “present” which gives the whole book a feeling of the past. The house feels cut off from the normal flow of time. Only scenes of the daughter remembering doctor visits with her father are done in blue, making it feel colder, and more rooted in today. Expressions form a large part of the story, though that includes posture and body language.

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