Natàlia meets Quimet. They marry, have chldren. Quimet dies in a war. Natàlia suffers, considers suicide. She remarries, learns to be happy. This plot outline sound like the script of a very sentimental movie, but La plaça del Diamant is quite unsentimental. If, as William Butlr Yeats has suggested, "sentimentality is the will doing the work of imagination", La plaça del Diamant escapes sentimentality by forcing the reader to imagine Natàlia's life. Writen in a deceptively naive style, the novel reproduces the shock of experience directly, and the reader experiences circumstances and revelations with the narrator. Rodoreda does not will th reader to sympathize with the limitations linguistically, and the reader instantiates and makes inferences from these linguistic attrns i the act of reading.
Rodoreda's hadling of first person narration is particularly interesting, because of the tighly controlled extent to which she allows Natàlia's personality to reveal itself. First person narration can be used to foreground the personalitiy of a narrator, as in, for example, Thomas Berger's Little Big man or Mark Twain's Huckelberry Finn. In reading these novels, the reader is always aware of how clever the narrator (and, therfore, the novelist) is. Natàlia, in contrast, is hardly clever. In fact, narrating her own life story seems to be almost beyond her powers. She often says things like: "There are things that are blury", or "I don't know what I thought" or "I don't know if I've explained myself". By creating and wkward narrator, Rodoreda takes herself outof the novel. The reader finally becomes convinced tht s/he is reading someon named Natàlia try and explain what has happened to her. It is one of the ironies of fiction that Rodoreda's at achieves its highest exression in the words of an artless narrator.