“Do you remember how we aged above the clouds?” Then she inhaled deeply and exhaled closing her eyes peacefully. It was an early morning, the sky was clear turquoise blue, like the sea without a wave. Her room looked like a crochet flower museum floating over mountains of books I kept looking outside the window for a while, waiting for her to come back for her favourite book “nunca supe cual fue”.
All day, the sky was clear from what I can remember.
“These letters reveal how I remembered I had wings, and that I could fly – not because I had them, but because I had the courage to use them.”
The ageing Arabella Gallina is struggling to pack up her family’s centuries-old coffee plantation house in Costa Rica. Receiving a visit from her son James, she discovers that his daughter, Isabella, is facing challenges in far-away England. Reluctantly at first, Arabella begins a correspondence with her granddaughter that eventually allows them both to make sense of the inevitable pain that life delivers to us all.
Pen Pal Feathers is the multigenerational story of a remarkable family, a magic realism narrative that winds through Europe and the Americas and encompasses the full sweep of the 20th century. It reveals the powerful bonds between generations and how those bonds shape our lives – how enduring familial love can supply the wings that enable us to fly.
About the Author
Paola Fonseca is a writer and PhD student from Costa Rica. Following a successful career in international corporate law, she now works in the not-for-profit sector. She has published work in two bestselling short story anthologies. Her first photograph with a hen was taken in her abuelita’s garden, right by the guava tree, when she was two years old. Paola always smiles when remembering she has been on a spiritual path most of her life.