'Before Modesta was able to swim, the distance of that gaze made her tremble with hope and misgivings. Now only a profound peace invades her mature body at each sensation of her skin, veins, joints. A body that is its own master, made ??wise by an understanding of the flesh. A profound awareness . . . of touch, sight, taste. Lying on her back on the rocky ledge, Modesta observes how her developed senses can take in the entire blue expanse, the wind, the distance, without the fragile fears of childhood. Astonished, she discovers the meaning of the skill her body has acquired during the long, brief course of her fifty years. It's like a second childhood, but with a precise awareness of being young, an appreciation of how to enjoy, touch, see. Fifty years, the golden age of discovery, fifty years, a happy age unjustly maligned by birth records and poets.'
A fictionalized memoir, a book of romance and sexual adventure, a bildungsroman: this novel is ultimately undefinable but deeply necessary; its genius will leave readers breathless.