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Tour: 190. The Return by Victoria Hislop...

October 27, 2009
Today's tour is for Victoria Hislop's The Return... Many thanks to Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? for organizing the tour...

the returnAbout the book:
Sonia is in Granada to celebrate a friend's birthday with a dance class. She knows nothing of the city's shocking past, but ordering a simple cup of coffee in a quiet cafe 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 Ramirez family's cafe, 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. Her talent for flamenco develops, and when she meets Javier Montero, a renowned young guitarist, an obsessive love affair begins. But Spain is a country in turmoil, and in 1936 a civil war begins that will tear their family apart. For Antonio, the pull of the battle is irresistible. For Ignacio, the allure of Franco's policies causes a rift between him and his family. And for Mercedes, caught on the wrong side of the line, separation from Javier is unbearable. Everyone must take a side and choose whether to submit, to fight, or to attempt escape.

About the author:
victoria hislopVictoria Hislop read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and writes travel features for The Sunday Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday, House & Garden and Woman & Home. Her first novel The Island was published by Headline Review and held the number 1 slot in the paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks, selling over a million copies in the UK. The book has also been published in over twenty languages and has also been a number 1 bestseller in Greece. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and won the Richard & Judy Summer Read competition. She lives in Kent, with her husband and their two children.

Visit Victoria Hislop's website for a reading group guide for The Return at

drey's thoughts:
The Return is one of those books that pull you along in its wake. Slowly. And surely. The story is Sonia's, who is dissatisfied with her lackluster life--except for the salsa lessons she takes. When she heads to Granada with her BFF Maggie, she finds Miguel, an old man who runs a cafe. Miguel starts sharing a bit of Granada's, and Spain's, history with Sonia.

And so the story is now Concha & Pablo's. And their children’s. Antonio, the idealist. Ignacio, the impish trouble-maker who takes up the art of bull-fighting. Emilio, who loses himself in his guitar. And Mercedes, who loves—who has always loved—the flamenco... and Javier, her gypsy guitarrista. When war invades Granada, their idyllic life is split and pummeled into so many bits and pieces. Can they recover? Can any of them recover?

The Return floats between history and present-day with a wistful earnestness. And your journey with Sonia as she explores a bit of the past, and realizes her path for the future, is extremely satisfying.

Title: The Return
Author: Victoria Hislop
ISBN-10: 0061715417
ISBN-13: 9780061715419
ARC: 401 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins, 2009

Disclosure: My copy of The Return is an ARC provided by TLC Book Tours for this review.


bermudaonion said...

I love books that draw you in like this. I really want to read this one.

trish said...

I'm glad you liked it, Drey! This book's narration (at least, the way you describe it) reminds me of another book that narrated a story this way (the main character meeting an older guy who told a story) and I thought it worked well. Thanks for a great review!

drey said...

trish ~ THANK YOU for organizing. I really enjoyed reading this. =)

Kathy ~ Yes, you do. *grin*

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