El temps de les cireres [The Time of Cherries] (1976)
El temps de les cireres is about the journey—flight—a theme that has characterised the Catalan novel since the formal thematic rupture after 1968 (although, somehow, the creation of any character comes close to it). But the focus on whole theme here is from a particular point of view, namely the moment of return, and hence recovery of the world that the main character, Natàlia Miralpeix, had left behind. All the traits—or, let’s say, myths or motives, if you like—characterising the development of this theme are present. In a nutshell: the presence of awakeners (Harmonia and Emilio), the descent into hell (detention and abortion), flight (to Italy and England) and, finally, the return, in which the real time of the novel is situated. The plot, then, is very simple and, interpreted from the thematic perspective I refer to, it is limited to the “recovery” of the world that Natàlia had left behind twelve years earlier in her flight. This world is evoked by physical contact with the objects comprising it. These are objects with a sort of Rodoreda touch, objects exerting a true fetishism (at one point for Judit and, later, for Joan Miralpeix for whom they are the whole world), awakening and bringing about the emergence of a personal, family, and historical past that is inseparable from Natàlia.
Jordi Castellanos. “Montserrat Roig i El temps de les cireres”, Serra d’Or, 213, June 1977.