The Bitter Taste of Time : Set in northern Spain from 1920 to the present, The Bitter Taste of Time is the compelling story of the Encarna women, whose lives are both tragic and beautiful. After the death of her husband, the family's gorgeous and imposing matriarch, Maria Encarna, turns her granite house into a pensión, opening it up to strangers with colorful stories and dark pasts. There she lives with her two unmarried sisters, her two daughters, and her granddaughter. Through the Spanish Civil War, a dictatorship, and the early years of a new democracy, the Encarnas become the wealthiest family in town. Yet despite their success and tenacity, tragedy comes calling, usually in the form of a man - and almost always on a Friday. By turns funny and moving, The Bitter Taste of Time is a thoroughly entertaining read.