Nada has been acclaimed as one of the best accounts of life in post-civil war Spain. It is a work that reflects the psychological and sociological effects of war on a society, particularly on its youth. It also represents the bittersweet reality of life: the price paid and the sacrifices made for personal freedom. Its setting is in 1939 Barcelona but its story is universal, for it depicts the hopes, the anxieties, and the frustrations of our time, portrayed by a young woman in search of her own identity in a society rocked by changing mores. This novel is imbued with such an array of expressionistic, impressionistic, and even some surrealistic descriptions that a literary critic states, «The finished product is a work of art, not a slice of life.» In reality, it is both of these.
Although Nada is narrated in the first person, Laforet compensates for the limitation of a first-person narration by interposing dialogues among characters, thus giving the reader insight into matters that would otherwise be unknown.