lunes, 23 de julio de 2012

I, CARMELA by Clara Villanueva.

What if you spend the summer in a New Age centre next to a Cathar castle in the French countryside? This is what Carmela does. She takes a job as a cleaner in exchange for the opportunity to practice French in order to enter the University. This is her output to a life of disappointment in love in which men have been the cause of all evils and rice dishes cooked by her mother the remedy for them. From the very beginning she will encounter problems due to the clash of cultures: “Thinking about my mother’s sandwiches the realisation came over me that I really was in a foreign land. France was only on the other side of the Pyrenees but it always felt like another planet. All those centuries of liberty and equality and they were incapable of feeding a hungry person. So much for their fraternity”. But she would solve them in a witty way. It's 1985, Carmela is 25 and is fed up with men. In this adventure she is surrounded by unique characters like a French aristocrat, her lesbian stepdaughter, a nymphomaniac room mate, a pseudo Celtic princess, an aspiring Buddhist monk or even a medieval ghost. But because of his rejection of men she feels particularly uncomfortable with Jack, the vegetarian English cook, or a nerd with a lovely bum, as he is called. They get involved in hilarious situations due to the original courses and workshops clients attend to in this New Age Centre dealing from Nice Astrology, to Instinctotherapy, passing through Scred Dances or The Feminine Miracle on Earth. Many other characters appears on the novel, and as they show off they bring with them memories of past love affairs with Ernesto the hippie, Aziz the Moroccan, Fabio the Italian, Arnaud the French and El Curro the flamenco musician, that seem to haunt her. Nonetheless, it will not be the same with Jack. To Carmela living as a couple is a form of self destruction. You stop looking at yourself through your own eyes and start to see yourself as the other sees you. Sometimes it’s flattering. Other times is very destructive. I don’t want it to happen me again. I refuse to have another relationship with a man. But, can you control your feelings and emotions to that point of certitude? Carmela will have to face an argument between her convictions and her feelings, what she things she wants against what she wishes. Will she make the right choice?

                                                       Title:            I, Carmela

                                                       Author:        Clara Villanueva

                                                       Publisher:     Mimbelle Books

                                                       Edition:        Paperback

                                                       Price:          11.99€

Read the first chapter/Lee el primer capítulo:

viernes, 6 de julio de 2012

Whatever you do... Don't Miss the Fiesta.

Costa Tropical News July Issue Book Review


"As soon as he saw the village, Scully knew he would stay. Security and cosiness, an air of permanence, emanated from the flock of tiny dwellings nuzzling about the old church, warm in their togetherness amid the bleakness of the sierras. It was a womb. And far enough from the rest of the world. He knew he would stay.” And he stays and decides to settle in Benamargo to leave behind a dark past as a successful businessman and unhappy husband. And in this Spanish village he finds refuge and unexpectedly falls in love with innocent Marisa, a ray of light and hope in a new life. But under the quiet appearance of Benamargo it hides a society anchored in time under the dominion of an old school Catholic priest , father Saturnino, who has become the only and unquestionable authority of the village , displacing even the democratically elected mayor, together with the Cofradía de las Ánimas (Brotherhood of Spirits). A bunch of men in charge of maintaining the traditional catholic-faith-based way of life where there is no place for sin or misbehaviour.

Our man is forced to fight against these entrenched habits in order to success in his pursuit of loving Marisa and escape from his past; "the witches nudged one another and whispered," Shameless, shameless”, they muttered among themselves. Their target was less Scully than Marisa. Men after all, were expected to sow their wild oats. Women should conserve themselves intact until they walked up the aisle, and those who did not, well... ". But the ghosts from the past also come into play when he receives an unexpected visit from England. Tragedy and blackmail is what these ghosts bring with them In this situation, Should they, beloved couple, stay or should they go...?

As Easter approaches the community seeks someone to expiate their sins, but who is without sin cast the first stone, and remember, whatever you do...
Don’t Miss the Fiesta!
 Beautiful descriptions of Andalusian wonderful landscape as well as witty portraits of Benamargo inhabitans are to be found in this amusing novel by David Baird, great connoisseur of every little aspect of Southern Spain life