El faro de la mujer ausente

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  • Finalist of the Hache Award 2013
  • Roll of Honour CCEI Award 2012
  • Alandar Award 2011


A gun shot heard in the cliffs, a woman who doesn't exist, a mysterious lighthouse keeper and a man's secret. Hugo has blood on his hands. What did he really see? While he's trying to put it all together, he is faced with an enigma which has its roots in World War II. His visit to Normandy may well turn into a journey to madness. Hugo swore he would never say anything, but now may be a good time to do it.

Fun Facts


David Fernández Sifres presents a well-crafted tale that jumps from the main character’s life as an adult, to his adolescence and even further back, to the cruel reality of World War II in a small seaside village. He cleverly weaves two story lines in one location – the coming of age of five young adults and the secrets generated by a small community during wartime. […] Fernández Sifres portrays moments of crisis with great sensitivity. […] The author’s descriptions and analogies are canny and creative. […] While one may classify El faro de la mujer ausente as a classic mystery novel for young adults, much like Enid Blyton’s Mystery series, the story conveys a hidden antiwar message that is not typically present in this genre. Fernández Sifres skillfully borrows elements from romantic, detective and historical novels but ultimately centers on solving a well-kept, war-time secret and illustrating the psychological development of a set of individuals, who despite traditionally assigned stereotypes, prove to have much in common. […] The story insinuates more than it directly delivers but this adds a welcome layer of complexity to the plot. […] Young readers will be engaged by Fernández Sifres’s clean, suspenseful and emotional writing style.

Patricia Figueroa – America reads Spanish

With a storyline that mixes reality and fiction, this novel reads well; not only for what is told but also for how it is told.

Antonia Montaner – Agenda urbana

A scenery in which a war took place and where the necessary elements are present to tell a compelling story filled with mysteries, a lighthouse, camouflaged tunnels, ghosts from the past and not-so-friendly characters who hide secrets they don’t want to unravel. I cannot reveal more as it would otherwise lose its mysterious aspect. We are dealing with a puzzle on the threshold between reality and imagination, where all the pieces need to come together so that two nightmares can meet, so that truncated lives can find peace.

Silvia Cartañá – Los libros de Bastian

A wonderful novel that will not leave anyone indifferent. […] This book does not only deal with World War II, because otherwise it would not have won one of the most prestigious awards of Spanish youth literature. […] I strongly recommend this book for this reason and the many other wonders that lie within it, besides a truly peculiar front cover.

Blanca – Ladronas de sueños

El faro de la mujer ausente, winner of the 11th Alandar Award, is a quick-paced and pleasant novel. The characters are well-crafted and the two plots, one based in the present and the other in the past, are marvelously interwoven. David Fernández Sifres, the author, successfully narrates the story and thus, by the end of the book, the reader has the feeling of having read a novel truly worthy of the award.
The Edelvives Publishing House awards the Alandar Prize on an annual basis, and this year their choice was excellent. The characters are well-crafted and so are their personalities. The plot unfolds little by little, leaving clues for us to piece everything together. Besides, the fresh and natural dialogues help the reader feel closer to the characters, hence improving the reading.

Nerea Marco – El Templo de las Mil Puertas

The story embraces a range of writing styles and good literary decisions. […] Everything is bound together into a suggestive narrative. David Fernández Sifres successfully describes emotions and feelings and to accomplish this, he uses strong emotion-filled images and metaphors. […] In short, this is a complete story teenagers and adults alike will enjoy reading.

Anabel Sáiz Ripoll – Voces de las dos orillas

This frantic-paced novel unfolds in four weeks, pushing the reader to continue the story and preventing him from stopping.

Sara Moreno – Revista Lazarillo

The overarching mystery, plot and adventure of the novel progressively arouse the reader’s interest who, besides being hooked on the appeal of the story, quickly understands the uselessness of wars and how their effects can last a really long time. […]

Given the fact that several stories are interwoven with the main plot, the novel is astoundingly well-structured. Everything falls into place as the novel is well thought-out from start to finish. One reader highlights the richness of the dialogues, the carefully crafted prose, the creation of a perfect atmosphere and the characters’ good profile descriptions.

[…] Every kind of reader can find in this book good reasons to enjoy reading. There is nothing more you can ask for.

Alfonso García – Diario de León