The Secret is the life story of a woman named Valeria, who, after years of living with her husband Michelle and daughters and sons Mirla and Ricardo, is quoted in her own words in the form of diaries.
Introducing the Forbidden Booklet
A notebook he hides in his room, fearing that one day his family members will find out about it, looking for an opportunity to be alone with him and write down his secrets.
And why is he afraid of this booklet? At one point in his life, he and his family experienced World War II, and now he has to go to work in addition to caring for his children and taking care of the house.
He grew up in a completely traditional family, and with this idea and expectations of his children, he sometimes has an intellectual conflict with them and their way of life is separated. He thinks that each of them has a lot of personal and secret issues and so he decides to write whatever he wants in this notebook. A forbidden booklet that no one knew about.
Alba de Céspedes’s fame began with his first novel, None of Them Returns, and culminated with the publication of On His behalf. The Forbidden Booklet is another work by this Italian-Cuban novelist.
The common theme of this author’s work is “The Italian Woman”, which focuses mainly on the years of World War II and beyond. Women’s struggles with the heterogeneous emotional atmosphere that has been created and their level of tolerance have been challenged.
About The Secret
Valeria is a woman who has suffered, a mother who is devoted to her children and her husband, and everywhere she speaks of her love for her family, but sometimes she seems to deceive herself! Valeria gradually becomes an ordinary woman for Michelle, even calling her “midwife” like her children, a woman who sometimes gives orders and even makes excuses. Sometimes Valeria thinks that her husband is getting away from her every day and that her children do not appreciate her.
He first buys a notebook to put his joys on paper, but eventually it becomes a notebook to write about his inner self and the negative thoughts and stresses of life.
Valeria lives in Rome, but the story of her life is the story of Iranian mothers, mothers who are afraid to express their love for their spouses, and when their children come to life, they are more cautious in this regard and deprive themselves of simple pleasures. They forbid life.
He considers himself the link between the two different worlds of his mother and daughter and believes that two different worlds come together in him and become one. Maybe that’s why he sometimes doesn’t understand them. Valeria likes to feel that she is still young, because there is nothing more painful for her than to see that her youth is over and she is looking for another kind of life.
In The Forbidden Booklet, family members are involved in events that inadvertently involve Valeria. He tries to solve problems but ultimately fails. When he gets upset, he goes to the notebook, but he both loves it and is afraid of it, because he believes that “the incident, when it turns into a word, looks much uglier than its reality.”
The family is described in the novel as a great and invincible power and valued. But enduring hardships is not an easy task, and the mother of the story bears the burden of this hardship completely, and with every hardship, she seems to distance herself from her true self.
The members of this family are different from what they show, Valeria knows this and she tries to play the role of a devoted mother well, she likes to show the family members that she has spent all her time with the family.
This book has a good translation and follows a very simple story, but it has very understandable and thought-provoking sentences, perhaps because it is very tangible for Iranian mothers: the hardships of the war and after, the differences between the generations and the many tasks that Shower is a mother, the common denominator between the life of this Italian mother and the Iranian mother.
Sentences from the text of The Secret
I often complain about working too much at home and being trapped in my home and family, that I never have time to read books, for example. All of this is true, but on the other hand, this captivity gives me strength, this honor is given to me on the occasion of the torment I suffer, so when it happens occasionally, before Michelle and the kids come home for dinner,
I take a nap for half an hour or on the way to the office to look at the shop windows, I never say anything to them, I’m afraid if I say I’ve rested and walked around, then I’ll lose the reputation that I’m spending all my time with my family. Because if I say I’m rested, those around me forget the other endless hours I spend working in the office or the kitchen, shopping and sewing, and only remember a few moments I devoted to reading or walking around. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 28)
Ever since I accidentally started writing a notebook, I have discovered how sometimes every word, every little hint, can be meaningful, the same words and hints that I did not care about in the past. Perhaps the real understanding of life is the understanding of the most insignificant daily events. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 44)
Sometimes I think writing events is wrong. When an incident becomes a word, it looks much uglier than it really is. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 62)
For some time now I can hardly accept that I am old and I have to give up everything. I refuse to accept it as much as I can, but I do not dare to admit it to myself. Because nothing is more painful for a woman than to see that her youth is over and she has to learn to live a different kind of life and create new hobbies for herself. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 76)
Perhaps none of us want to accept that what really drives our children to rebel against us has happened to us. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 120)
The only thing that makes any man confident in life is a woman’s love, the desire to be strong for her sake and to achieve her. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 214)
Everyone has to choose their life and accept it and accept it from others. And then ignore any action that is against it. “Everyone who has a bad memory is very happy,” my mother always says. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 350)
Women each have a blacklist, a forbidden booklet that everyone should get rid of. I ask myself: Where did I tell the truth in this booklet? Which of the things I have done and reflected in these pages will leave a beautiful image of me? I do not know, no one will ever know. (Forbidden Booklet – Page 388)
2- Introducing the book The Secret in Aparat