logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Spain
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-11-02 17:35
Tight plotting great characterization stylishly executed conclusion
The Confession: A Novel - Jo Spain

What a superb tightly plotted story that kept me reading from page 1 right to the smartly executed conclusion. JP(John Paul) Carney enters the home of rich Dublin socialites Harry McNamara and his beautiful wife Julie. In one insane moment he attacks Harry and bludgeons him to death with a golf club whereupon he immediately surrenders himself to the custody of the local garda siochana. What on the surface appears to be an open and shut case is a much more complicated and deeply rewarding account scrutinizing the lives of three individuals ensuring a course of action that will destroy everything they hold to be honest and true.

 

I love this style of storytelling where events unfold through first person account of the parties involved. Julie met Harry at the night of the Trinity ball where a mutual infatuation led speedily to a marriage of convenience; he the flamboyant, charismatic owner of his own finance company, she the attractive career driven graduate..."That was us at the beginning of our fairytale. But here's the thing about fairytales. Sometimes they're darker than you can ever imagine. Another world away JP Carney has survived into adulthood with little help from a boozing father Seamie and a mother Betty who abandoned the family home leaving JP to care and comfort his sister Charlie. But a dark event will occur and a murder will be committed where the question of responsibility is explored in this dark, unmissable teasing psychological thriller.

 

The tempo and pace of the novel is a credit to the author Jo Spain expertly teasing and drawing the reader into her web of intrigue and deceit before producing a magical and totally unexpected ending. I loved it!. Many thanks to the publisher Quercus and the good people of netgalley for a gratis copy in exchange for an honest review and that is what I have written.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-27 11:44
A clean romance, where fate, faith, and history come together.
By Light of Hidden Candles - Daniella Levy

Thanks to NetGalley, to Rosie Amber (from Rosie’s Book Review Team. If you’re an author looking for reviews, check here) and to the author for providing me an ARC copy of this book that I freely chose to review.

This novel fits into several genres. It is a romance (a clean or sweet romance. I’m not sure if the same that there are Christian books, there is also a category for Jewish books, but if there is, it would fall into that as well), where fate seems to conspire to unite the two protagonists whilst their faith separates them (Alma, the young American woman is an Orthodox Sephardic Jew, while Manuel, the Spanish young man is not only Catholic but he is considering priesthood). It is also a historical novel. Both protagonists have always wondered about their past, their genealogy and family histories, and are fascinated by some stories about their ancestors that have been passed down for generations although with little in the way of evidence to confirm them. They end up joining a project to do some family research in the historical archives in Madrid and they pair up as a team. Whilst we follow their research and investigation, with alternating chapters in the first-person, told from each one of the protagonists points of view, we also have some chapters set in the XV century in Spain (1492), told in the third person, from the point of view of Miriam, a Jewish young woman whose father’s dealings with conversos (Jews who had converted to Catholicism) gets him into trouble with the Spanish Inquisition (yes, Monty Python get a mention, don’t worry). The book is also a book about religious and personal identity and faith, and it goes into a fair amount of detail about the Jewish faith, not only about customs but also about points of faith and doctrine. For both, Alma and Manuel, their faiths are fundamental parts of who they are and they are both determined not to allow their friendship to cross boundaries and develop into something that is impossible if they are to remain faithful to their beliefs. I think you probably can guess where this is going.

The characters are likeable, quirky (especially Alma. Manuel seemed too good to be true at times, but then, male characters in romances sometimes are, and this is not a story full of rogues), and easy to empathise with. Alma’s family and her interaction with them feel real and give the reader a good sense of the joys and the struggles of trying to keep the tradition alive despite the pressures of the modern world. Manuel’s mother is very peculiar, although everything is explained later, and he does not have other contacts or close family, so his chapters focus mostly on his doubts about his faith and on his relationship with Alma. Their interaction is sometimes funny (rather than Romeo and Juliet this is more like Much Ado About Nothing), sometimes poignant, and sometimes deep and reflective. They can be at times naïve (they have both lived what appear to be quite sheltered lives, despite their very different backgrounds and circumstances), unaware, and blinkered (there is much made of the prejudice in Spain, both in the past and now, but they don’t seem aware of any issues on that respect in the USA), but they are devoted to their families and their projects, they are well-liked by all they come in contact with, and meet interesting people whose stories illustrate multiple aspects of living according to a religious faith.

The novel travels with the characters, providing a wonderful background for the story (New York, Granada, Madrid, Lorca, Cartagena), without long and tiresome descriptions, just enough detail to fire up the imagination and transport the readers there.

There is mystery (well, there are several mysteries) and coincidences, luck, and fate play a huge part in the story. I don’t think many readers will be surprised by what happens, although, like in many romances, the beauty is in the detail, the process, and in how seeing how things will come together in the end. And yes, the ending is satisfying.

I would recommend this novel to readers who love romances with a big dose of both fate and faith, who like clean novels (no swear words, no sex), are interested in the Jewish faith and its history, and enjoy the company of warm-hearted characters who deserve the best of luck.

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2017-10-02 07:16
EXAMINING THE ROLE OF "LAS BRIGADAS INTERNATIONALES" IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
International Brigades in Spain 1936-39 - Ken Bradley

Here is a highly informative book that offers a broad sweep of the history of the international brigades and the roles they played in aiding the Spanish Republican government in its struggle against the Nationalists (and their foreign cadres) during the Spanish Civil War. There are also plenty of photos and illustrations to give the reader a basic understanding of the military units organized by the Comintern which proved under fire to be a 'corps d'elite', seeing action in some of the bloodiest battles of the war. This is a good book for anyone who wants a basic understanding of one of the 20th century's most significant conflicts.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-09-30 22:02
MIA... Update

We went exploring yesterday and found ourselves on a bus to the north coast - Port de Pollenca to be exact. 

 

We had planned the trip but it was not until we got there that it occurred to me that there is an Agatha Christie story called Problem at Pollensa Bay. As it turns out, the story is set in Port de Pollenca (tho, Dame Agatha just calls it Pollensa) and it was great fun reading this short Parker Pyne story on location.

 

Unlike, Mr. Parker Pyne, we had great weather. No mist in sight. 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2017-09-27 22:46
Largely MIA...

for a few days, but I'll share this reading update:

 

 

Happy reading, all! :D

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?