This is a memoir recounting an English couple’s post retirement move to a village in Spain. Victoria, tired of the cold and rain in the UK, convinces husband Joe to move to Spain. Joe agrees, on condition that the move is for five years only. At the end of that time, they would reassess and decide if they will stay permanently.
Thus we are introduced to a delightful cast of characters, including a lucky meeting with a British expat and her mother, who soon become the couple’s good friends. There are minor mishaps and missteps along the way, some of which are pretty funny, as the couple struggles to learn Spanish and local customs.
The story is engaging and beautifully drawn in a very down-to-earth, refreshing style. This is exactly the kind of tale that captivates me and feeds my interest both in travel and cross cultural issues. I read it in one greedy gulp over two days and hated to see it end. The good news is that the author is planning a sequel!
The one thing I found a bit jarring was the insertion of recipes at the end of nearly every chapter. They were always something that had been eaten during the course of the story, but without a lead-in of any kind and my extreme lack of interest in cooking, I felt they unnecessarily interrupted the flow of the story. If the author had provided a bit of a backstory on her interest in cuisine, it would have made a better tie-in. Better still if the recipes were all put at the end of the book.
A paperback edition is for sale at Amazon, and e-book versions are available both at Amazon and Smashwords. I bought the Smashwords edition. It would have been nice to have a book cover image at the beginning of the e-book. Other than that, there were no formatting issues.
A great read, highly recommended.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.