by Marc Recha
Arnau is seventeen and lives with his sister and brother in the outskirts of Barcelona, in a no man's land surrounded by freeways, overhead power cables, and bordered by the river Besòs. Here he devotes himself to his great passion, competitive songbirds, raising finches, greenfinches, and a goldfinch that represents his greatest hopes. For Arnau needs money: his mother is in prison in Vad-Ras and he wants to hire a good lawyer. When his bird becomes the Catalonian champion, the young man feels he can finally see light at the end of the tunnel, all the more so as his uncle tells him it might be possible to make even more money with dog racing. But Arnau soon finds himself up against harsh reality.