I finished already. I knew it was not going to be a straightforward history of the siege, not even a historical novel whose action takes place during it, but something different. As I said before, I didn't like Saramago's public
personna, but the only book I had read before by him was one I did enjoy: "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ".
And I was surprised at finding myself enjoying this one too. Raimundo Silva turned out to be a very sympathetic character, a shy man with a hidden sense of humor and tenderness, and Maria Sara, though at the beginning looks like your common power-hungry, despotic Alpha female, is only a lonely, good woman looking for love.
The parallel story, about the alternate history of the siege, is curiously very illuminating on this obscure (at least for me) episode in Medieval history. Obscure but very interesting. I learned that the Portuguese were not yet formed as a people or nation, the invaders are called "galhegos", from Northwestern Spain.
And the whole idea of inserting a "no" in a text, thus changing History, and Raimundo and Maria Sara's lives for the better, is simply endearing.
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