Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Return by Victoria Hislop ~a book review

The Return by Victoria Hislop: Sonia knows nothing of Granada's shocking past, but ordering a simple cup of coffee in a quiet cafÉ will lead her into the extraordinary tale of a family's fight to survive the horror of the Spanish Civil War.

Seventy years earlier, in the RamÍrez family's cafÉ, Concha and Pablo's children relish an atmosphere of hope. Antonio is a serious young teacher, Ignacio a flamboyant matador, and Emilio a skilled musician. Their sister, Mercedes, is a spirited girl whose sole passion is dancing, until she meets Javier and an obsessive love affair begins. But Spain is a country in turmoil. In the heat of civil war, everyone must take a side and choose whether to submit, to fight, or to attempt escape.

When I first started reading this book it was hard for me to get into. I like stories that take place over time where the past affects the future. The present story was not engaging and hard to get through. However once this novel went to the past I could not put it down! I only new a little about the Spanish civil war because of art history and the art I studied from that time. This narrative puts you right in the middle of the civil war. It's moving and it made me want to learn  more about Spanish history. Some people think if they ignore politics it will go away. But what they do affect us each and every day. It's just scary how much power governments and other parties have over innocent people.
Anyway this is an amazing story and I would say if you get a chance plough through the first part and get to the part that will stay with you for a very long time!
Think I might have to take up salsa!

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