The Return by Victoria Hislop

The Return feels as if it’s almost told in two parts. In the present day you meet Sonia. She’s a middle-aged woman who is having relationship issues and is facing some tough decisions when it comes to her marriage. She is visiting Spain with a friend and they decide to take some dancing classes to celebrate her friend’s birthday.

While on her trip she meets an elderly waiter at a cafe who tells her the story of the Ramirez family and the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. Pablo and Concha Ramirez run a cafe and lead a happy life with their children - Antonio who is a teacher, Ignacio the bull fighter, Emilio who is in line to take over the cafe and, their daughter, Mercedes, who is a talented flamenco dancer.

This second part of the book tells the story of the Ramirez's and how their world and lives are affected by the war. Plenty of family drama ensues - disagreements, betrayals and eventually deaths.

Ms. Hislop’s writing is so vividly detailed that you feel as if you are whisked away on an epic adventure to Spain where you have a front seat to bull fights, flamenco dancing and a stroll through the streets of Granada. My favorite character was Mercedes - her love for Flamenco and her guitarist Javier were an inspiration. I really didn't know much about the Spanish Civil War and this book had a lot of insight into that time - I actually felt I learned something while reading it.

I highly enjoyed this and recommend it to anyone - there's a little bit of everything (love, hate, drama, violence, adventure) in it, so it can definitely appease a wide variety of readers.

To learn more of author, Victoria Hislop - check out her website at:

My review copy was received from


brizmus said...

I love books in which you learn something!
Especially if it's something I know very little about - such as the Spanish Civil War.

Juju from Tales of said...

Interesting premise. I love the cover.

trish said...

You make this book sound fantastic! A front row seat to flamenco dancing and bull fighting? I think it really takes some talent to make the reader feel like they're *right there*.

Thanks for being on this tour, Nely!

Jessica (BookLover) said...

Thanks for the recommendation! :)

Jamie (confessions of a book junkie) said...

This book sounds very interesting. I think I'll add that one to my wish list! :)

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