This novel is set in the early 14th century in Barcelona. It begins on the farm of Bernat Estanyol, a serf, some ways from the city, where the feudal lord has taken ‘Droit de seigneur’ on the Bernat’s new bride - i.e. he has raped her. Nine months later she gives birth, and the baby, Arnau, is Bernat’s, not the feudal lord. Things go from bad to worse, as the bride sinks into a deep depression, and is then called to the castle, there to be humiliated and repeatedly raped, and finally forced to give up her baby, leaving it to die in a storage shed. Fortunately, Bernat finds out where the baby is and is able to save it, but must flee to Barcelona to seek refuge. From there, the novel follows Arnau’s life.

Sadly, I have this book from the library and I have to return it unfinished, with little prospect of getting it back any time soon.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Cathedral of the Sea
  • Author: Ildefonso Falcones
  • Published: 2006
  • ISBN: 0525950486
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 3.0 stars