La casa de las chivas, de Jaime Salom Vidal


In a battle-weary village, a small group of Republican soldiers live with Petra, her younger sister Trini, and their senile old father. This is the House of the Chivas, named after ‘la Chiva’, the girls’ mother. La Chiva was a sexually-voracious woman who left her husband and young daughters to seek pastures new. She has never been seen since. La Chiva’s daughters have inherited some of her wild ways. It is 1938, and the Spanish Civil War has ravaged the region. Food is scarce and Petra offers the soldiers sexual favours in exchange for supplies. She is a domineering young woman, who at times seems to enjoy the rude attentions heaped on her by the men under her roof. Trini, in contrast, is a naïve young girl. Bored, she desperately wants to experience something of life before the war strips her of all happiness. But Petra forbids Trini from having much to do with the soldiers living with them. One night, Trini tires of her sister’s prohibitions and goes downstairs to join the soldiers smoking and listening to music. That same night, Juan arrives. Unlike his fellow soldiers, Juan is neither crude nor lascivious. His kind manner towards both Petra and Trini soon has both the sisters arguing over him. But, despite enjoying the girls’ company, Juan shows no sexual interest in either of them.

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