Violette is the result of the relationship, but she's a very slow girl who soon grows up addicted to the local firewater, gets pregnant (probably by the mayor's son) at fifteen, and soon dies under mysterious circumstances very early in the book.
Violette's daughter is Vera Candida, who is brought up by Rosa and firmly taught to avoid the mistakes of previous generations of women, to avoid succumbing to men, but at fifteen Vera is raped by Jeronimo, and the pregnant girl flees to mainland Lahomeria without telling anyone.
Then begins the second (and longest) section of the book, dealing with Vera and her daughter Monica Rose as they move from a home for single mothers (run by a woman who was married to a Nazi) to a crummy flat, and then to longterm security and warmth with the journalist Itxaga, who's the only decent male in the book, and who's been in love with Vera for some time.
And then, at nearly forty and after eighteen years with Itxaga, she learns she has terminal stomach cancer and returns to Vatapuna, where if he's alive she'll kill the man who made her life a nightmare, who thrust his cock into her mouth and then raped her. But just as she's missed seeing her grandmother alive again, Jeronimo has already hanged himself.
This is a book of love and hate, of beauty and the beast, of strength and weakness, of sickness and health, of tenderness and brutality, enhanced by a strange hypnotic power that often – breathlessly but rhythmically – sweeps through the novel in very long sentences punctuated by many commas, translating thoughts and actions. Compelling.
(Addendum: see below for Robert Hughes's comment on me missing the obvious: Voltaire's Candide.)
My review of another book of Ovaldé's:
Véronique Ovaldé: Les Hommes en général me plaisent beaucoup (2003)