The difference between living and enduring
In The angel’s hand, Rogelio Iriarte avoids separate chapters so readers can lose themselves in a medley of emotions, from desolation to desire of redemption; just like you find in the streets of Bogotà, a place where pettiness and miracles alternates, and good and bad characters live under hand-shaped clouds pointing at them.
It happens when everybody’s most weak and fragile: Ignacio’s left alone with two younger brothers to look after; the “old man” is damaged in the body and mind by drugs and despair; Josè Antonio, a young and handsome man’s corrupted by wealth and vice. In a dance-like motion, the author describes a city that drags the characters to the bottom with a force that equals that of their redemption.
The novel highlights that we are all able to overturn even the most adverse fate: wrong choices, seemingly leading to disaster, are just unavoidable stages, just like life. Confiding in our love for ourselves and others decides if we are just living or enduring.
Translation by Sara Di Girolamo