For her follow-up to international bestseller The Island, British author Hislop has friends Sonia and Maggie jetting off for flamenco lessons in Granada, Spain. Sonia is escaping monotony and a souring marriage to an older man while Maggie is celebrating her 35th birthday. The trip proves an odyssey of discovery for Sonia, who over a morning cup of coffee is mesmerized by an elderly cafe owner's stories of the Spanish Civil War and the Ramirez family who once owned the cafe and were torn apart during the time of Franco and the upheaval of war. Most intriguing was the story of Mercedes, whose passion for flamenco dancing was matched only by her love for renowned guitarist Javier Montero with whom she performed. Separated from her fractured family, she set out to search for Javier in the chaos of Civil War Spain. Dance holds a place of importance in the tale, especially when Sonia learns the truth about her own mother in a twist that adds suspense to the romance and familial drama. The well-done historical background is a rewarding plus in this fast-paced account of love's power through generations.

The Return





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