It is the day of Sylvia's sixteenth th birthday and her life as an adult is about to begin - not with the party she had been planning, but with a car crash. At the wheel is a talented young footballer, just arrived from Buenos Aires and set for stardom on and off the pitch. As their destinies collide, elsewhere in the city Sylvie's father and grandfather are finding their own lives suddenly derailed by a violent murder and a secret affair. Set against the maze of Madrid's congested and contested streets, Learning to Lose follows four individuals as they swerve off course in unexpected directions. Each of them is dodging guilt and the fear of failure, but their shared search for happiness, love, purity and - above all - a way to survive forms a taut narrative web that binds the characters together and holds the reader fast.