Gripping account of the Spanish Civil War
The body of this book consists the story of the Ramirez family of Granada during the Spanish Republic, the Civil War and the ensuing years. It is a tremendously powerful narrative and cannot fail to stir the emotions. The detail reflects the huge effort that the author must have put into her research.
The vehicle for the main story, which is the journey of Sonia, as she tries to fill the gap left in her life by her empty marriage with an adventure into flamenco dancing in Andalucía in the company of her old school friend, is just too improbable to be believable. It is even more incredible that the reader is expected to believe that Sonia hears the whole story of the Ramirez family from the waiter of a back-street Grenadine café in a SINGLE day. As if this weren't enough of an integrity challenge, we are further asked to believe the strong connections between the Ramirez family and Sonia, which are inevitably revealed towards the end.
Despite all of this, The Return, is just such a wonderfully moving story, and every single atom of the trials and tribulations of the Ramirez family is totally believable. In fact, it was so believable that I could almost feel the pain and passion that I imagined the members of that family must have felt. I have always been a big fan of historical fiction as it really brings the past to life in a way that dry school books could never do. This story, with all of its sadness and joy, is just SO moving.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone I know, as I am sure that they will not be disappointed. To those of you reading this review who are unknown to me, I say, PLEASE read it! If my review sent you the wrong way, just add a comment to that effect.