DECEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Alberto’s Lost Birthday’ by Diana Rosie

A little boy and his grandfather embark on a quest to find the old man’s missing birthday in Diana Rosie’s debut novel, Alberto’s Lost Birthday. Alberto is an old man. But he doesn’t know how old – he remembers nothing before his arrival at an orphanage during the Spanish civil war. He rarely thinks about his missing childhood, but when seven-year-old Tino discovers his grandfather has … Continue reading DECEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Alberto’s Lost Birthday’ by Diana Rosie

HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen’ by Giles Tremlett

In 1474, a twenty-three year old woman ascended the throne of Castile, the largest and strongest kingdom in Spain. Ahead of her lay the considerable challenge not only of being a young, female ruler in an overwhelmingly male-dominated world, but also of reforming a major European kingdom that was riddled with crime, corruption, and violent political factionism. Her marriage to Ferdinand of Aragon was crucial … Continue reading HISTORICAL BOOK REVIEW SERIES: ‘Isabella of Castile: Europe’s First Great Queen’ by Giles Tremlett

NOVEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Moor’s Last Stand’ by Elizabeth Drayson

The Moor’s Last Stand presents the poignant story of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. Betrayed by his family and undermined by faction and internal conflict, Boabdil was defeated in 1492 by the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended … Continue reading NOVEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Moor’s Last Stand’ by Elizabeth Drayson

OCTOBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Petals and Bullets’ by Mark Derby

It was bright moonlight – good bombing light – and once we had to stop and put out our lights as a Fascist aeroplane flew over. They usually come swooping down with guns firing at cars, especially ambulances. Finally we arrived at a town among the hills about 12.30 p.m. Here there is a hospital of about 100 beds in a former convent . . … Continue reading OCTOBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Petals and Bullets’ by Mark Derby

SEPTEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Dead’ by Mark Oldfield

MADRID, 1982. Comandante Leopoldo Guzmán has decided it is time to disappear. Franco is in his grave and there’s no place in the new order for the one-time head of the dead dictator’s secret police. But first Guzmán needs money. Luckily, blackmail has always come easily to him – after all, he knows where the bodies are. And so he should. He buried them. MADRID, … Continue reading SEPTEMBER SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Dead’ by Mark Oldfield