It has taken me longer than usual to read The Return by Victoria Hislop. What an incredible read. I almost don’t want to spoil it by spilling any of the beans, as it were. However, I should mention a couple of my prejudices at the start. I was given this book as a present and had been looking forward to Hislop’s second book since enjoying her first (The Island). At the start it was difficult to get into. I have never been to Spain and have a dislike of the whole idea of bull-fighting, and antipathy towards flamenco dancing and castanets. Not a good start then to have to wade through detailed descriptions of both to begin with. But the narrative suddenly jumped back (in a clever way) to the time of the Spanish Civil war in the 1930s. It became compelling reading, all brought to life in a vivid way.
I was sad to finish the book today and am sure I will read it again. I find myself enchanted by the history of a people and knowing far more about the European state of mind than ever before. Definitely a ten out of ten. A very good story for its own sake as well.