A journalist and screenwriter, Rosa Aneiros is best known as a writer of adult and young adult fiction. She won prizes for her novels Resistance (2002), about two lovers involved in the resistance to the twentieth-century dictatorship in Portugal, The Sea Came to See Me (2004), about a biologist confronting the Prestige oil spill, and Winter Sun (2009), about a woman who escapes the Spanish Civil War and has to face the voices and wounds of exile. As a children’s writer, she caught attention with her novel Butterfly Wings (2009), with its cast of international characters, and most recently with the trilogy I Love You Leo A. (2013-4), about a woman who sets out to imitate Marco Polo. Rosa Aneiros works for the Council of Galician Culture in Santiago.
Photograph © Manuel G. Vicente
I LOVE YOU LEO A. DESTINATION SOMEWHERE synopsis
I Love You Leo A. Destination Somewhere (312 pages) is the first in a trilogy of novels about a young woman, Leo, who leaves university and decides to travel around the world in 182 days. Wherever she goes, she finds graffiti that says ‘I Love You Leo A.’ The other titles in the trilogy are I Love You Leo A. Transit Station and I Love You Leo A. Arrival Terminal?
I LOVE YOU LEO A. DESTINATION SOMEWHERE
I still can’t believe it. I’m off, off, off!
My journey around the world in 182 days
is finally starting.
8 January 2011 at 16:12
Leo went through the security archway with far too much insecurity in her feet and restless pumping in her heart. That may be why the civil guard ordered her to take off her boots and passed the metal detector over her nervous body. Had it been able to measure her heartbeat, that little device would most probably have exploded as soon as it reached her chest. But it didn’t explode, possibly because such instruments know nothing about the comings and goings of the soul. Meanwhile, the X-ray machine was closely examining the contents of her rucksack. The rucksack didn’t seem exactly comfortable with its contents. It had gone from carrying sheets, folders, books and notes to holding lists of Internet addresses, descriptions in different languages, a passport, a brand-new debit card, some socks and a scarf.
‘No jeans, make sure you put on some comfortable leggings, because long journeys require you to be particularly comfortable. And watch out for the air conditioning! Always have a scarf ready to protect your throat.’
Aunt Cris’ words clashed violently in her head with her mother’s advice:
‘Call whenever you can. And if you ever wish you hadn’t left, catch the first flight home. The first flight, understand?’
Not the second or the third, mother went on, but the first flight home. She still hadn’t made it through the security archway and her mother was insisting on the need to return.
But Leo didn’t turn back. Instead, she took a look around and sighed. Finally. She couldn’t believe the day had arrived. A tear appeared on one of her eyelids and she knew it was as a result of emotion, though whether it was down to enthusiasm at achieving her dream, or remorse, she still couldn’t say. She had six months in front of her to find out. Six months!