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Five great books set in VALENCIA

26th May 2020

Valencia is the latest place for us to visit in our ‘Great books set in’ series. Five great books set in Valencia.

Valencia is the third largest city in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona. It has around 800,000 occupants in the city environs, and 1.6 million in the wider urban area.The city is situated on the banks of the Turia, on the east coast of the Iberian peninsula. The Port of Valencia is the busiest container port in the Mediterranean.

With a long history, the city has many celebrations and traditions, of which the most famous are probably La Tomatina and the Fallas.

The paella was born in Valencia, taking its name from the local dialect for frying pan. Although the world sees paella as the Spanish national dish, it really belongs to Valencia.

Here are five great books to take you to this interesting city:

The Perfume GardenFive great books set in VALENCIA by Kate Lord Brown

High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Untouched since Franco’s forces tore through Spain in 1936, the whitewashed walls have crumbled, the garden, laden with orange blossom, grown wild.

Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in seventy years. Guided by a series of letters and a key bequeathed in her mother’s will, she has left her job as London’s leading perfumier to restore this dilapidated villa to its former glory. It is the perfect retreat: a wilderness redolent with strange and exotic scents, heavy with the colours and sounds of a foreign time.

But for her grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed here during Spain’s devastating civil war, Emma’s new home evokes terrible memories.

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BloodSong by Johana Gustawsson

Spain, 1938: The country is wracked by civil war, and as Valencia falls to Franco’s brutal dictatorship, Republican Therese witnesses the murders of her family. Captured and sent to the notorious Las Ventas women’s prison, Therese gives birth to a daughter who is forcibly taken from her.

Falkenberg, Sweden, 2016: A wealthy family is found savagely murdered in their luxurious home. Discovering that her parents have been slaughtered, Aliénor Lindbergh, a new recruit to the UK’s Scotland Yard, rushes back to Sweden and finds her hometown rocked by the massacre.

Profiler Emily Roy joins forces with Aliénor and soon finds herself on the trail of a monstrous and prolific killer. Little does she realise that this killer is about to change the life of her colleague, true-crime writer Alexis Castells. Joining forces once again, Roy and Castells’ investigation takes them from the Swedish fertility clinics of the present day back to the terror of Franco’s rule, and the horrifying events that took place in Spanish orphanages under its rule.

Terrifying, vivid and recounted at breakneck speed, Blood Song is not only a riveting thriller and an examination of corruption in the fertility industry, but a shocking reminder of the atrocities of Spain’s dictatorship, in the latest, stunning installment in the award-winning Roy & Castells series.

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A Death in ValenciaFive great books set in VALENCIA by Jason Webster

Max Camara is feeling low. Ominous cracks have appeared in the walls of his flat: the body of a well-known paella chef has been washed up on the beach: there are rows and threats about abortion clinics: the town hall are set on demolishing El Cabanyal, the colourful fisherman’s quarter on Valencia’s sea-front.

As Cámara untangles these threads, he stumbles into a web of corruption and violence, uncovering deep animosities and hidden secrets, and forcing him to question his own doubts and desires.

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The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan

What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?

When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan’s world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves – and with no way of getting the answers she needs.

Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and orange groves – along with Pep, the local winemaker’s handsome son – begin to soothe her broken heart. But just when she begins to feel whole again, another bombshell drops.

Juno might have run away from her secrets, but the past isn’t finished with her…

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The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sánchez

Having left her job and boyfriend, thirty-year-old Sandra decides to stay in a Spanish village in order to take stock of her life and find a new direction. She befriends Karin and Fredrik, an elderly Norwegian couple, who provide her with stimulating company and take the place of the grandparents she never had. However, when she meets Julian, a former concentration-camp inmate who has just returned to Europe from Argentina, she discovers that all is not what it seems and finds herself involved in a perilous quest for the truth.

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Which is your top title to transport you to Valencia? Do tell us in the comments below! And if you fancy more reads set in this vibrant Spanish city, then just access the Tripfiction database.

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