Sonia Cameron is married to James, living in London. Her "Return" is to Granada, Spain under the black cloud of disapproval from James. The reason for going is ostensibly to dance, but her friend, Maggie who goes with her is clearly more interested in a hook-up. Sonia meets Miguel, who starts to tell her a story of the Ramirez family.
The family lived during the Spanish Civil War, and Mercedes, Ignacio, Emilio and Antonio are the four young people we follow, together with their parents.
Ms. Hislop explores and researches history so well. I loved the descriptions of Granada, the theatre, music and most beautifully - flamenco dancing. It was passionate and vivid, and I was drawn in. I was also caught up in the civil war and its devastating effect on families, children and society.
The modern day story, not so much. It wasn't bad, but could have been stronger and better told. The book was more about the story than the people, and although some of them danced off the pages in places, most of them were not vibrant enough for me to love or hate particularly.
Written in 2009, other novels by this author are superior, but this isn't bad. It's interesting, insightful and diverting. The narrator was also good, and I enjoyed the few days I spent listening to this one.
You may also enjoy The Island or The Thread by the same author or The Information Officer by Mark Mills.