The Return by Victoria Hislop

About the book

An atmospheric, vibrant and moving tale of pain and passion at the heart of war-torn Spain, from Victoria Hislop, the million-copy bestselling author of THE ISLAND.

Beneath the majestic towers of the Alhambra, Granada’s cobbled streets resonate with music and secrets. Sonia Cameron knows nothing of the city’s shocking past; she is here to dance. But in a quiet café, a chance conversation and an intriguing collection of old photographs draw her into the extraordinary tale of Spain’s devastating civil war.

Seventy years earlier, the café is home to the close-knit Ramírez family. In 1936, an army coup led by Franco shatters the country’s fragile peace, and in the heart of Granada the family witnesses the worst atrocities of conflict. Divided by politics and tragedy, everyone must take a side, fighting a personal battle as Spain rips itself apart.

 

Reviewed by Valleydene

“Started a bit slow but once into the story of the Ramirez family it was quite an emotional journey. Hadn’t known anything about the Spanish Civil War and that it was so recent which made it all the more poignant

star rating *** ½

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Winter in Madrid by C J Sansom

About the book

Part thriller, part love story, this tale follows the fortunes of three young men, navigating the tumultous world of 1940s Spain. As the Second World war begins, one is sent to spy on another and the ramifications of a tragic love story will haunt them all.

Reviewed by CC Readers

Gave fascinating insights into a complex period that is hard to analyse. Too long and some details jarred. Many felt it was contrived and various elements had echoes of many other novels. On a positive note – it created a vivid atmosphere “filmic”. Dialogue convincing.

Star rating: ***

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The Shadow of the wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

About the book

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is a labyrinthine library of obscure & forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. A man brings his 10-year-old son to the library & allows him to choose one book to keep. But as he grows up, several people seem inordinately interested in his find.

Reviewed by Sherfield English Page Turners

The group found this book thoroughly entertaining and absorbing involving mystery, tragedy, magic, human and first rate story telling. Based in Barcelona in the post war years it gives a real glimpse of life in post civil war Spain.

Star rating: ****

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Guernica by Dave Boling

About the book

In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the centre of Basque culture and tradition. Once there, he finds more than just a new life – he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is the charismatic and graceful dancer he meets and the two discover a love they believe nothing can destroy . . .

Reviewed by Stubbington Book Buddies:

Generally found it engaging and promoted much discussion. Felt it conveyed a strong sense of Basque culture, history, family values and loss.

Star rating: ***
 

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