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Romcom set in Andalucía

20th January 2022

The Spanish House by Cherry Radford, romcom set in Andalucía.

Romcom set in Andalucía

Are you in need of a trip to Southern Spain, with a bit of romance and Spanish flair thrown in? Then this is a novel for you!

Juliana – or Hooliana as she is referred to, emphasising the Spanish pronunciation of her name – is of Spanish heritage and has spent much of her life in England. However, Uncle Arturo is keen she should know more about her Spanish roots and sets about devising a set of tasks for her to do, spanning a period of 90 days and a ‘prize’ of a a small house at the end of it. He has designed this to be a life affirming and hopefully fun exercise for her – let’s not cloud the issue with any sense that he might be a control freak in getting her to do this! He is doing it out of the goodness of his heart because there are perhaps one or two things – secrets in other words – of which Juliana is unaware.

She decamps to San Rafael, described as a sad, crumbling. ex-goldmining village, and finds her way to the house, encountering Chica the goat . Before long she has met her taciturn neighbour, Josemi, who has taken the goat under his wing – it has the run of their gardens and its home is the wilderness beyond. One of tío Arturo’s stipulations, among several, is that she must get on with her neighbours, as well as building up the cactus collection on the terrace and painting parts of the house. She is also to visit Fort Tabernas Studios where, many years ago, her Spanish mother worked in the costume department and he exhorts her to generally engage with local life.

The author keeps an upbeat feel to the narrative, although of course secrets often have their shocking side, as characters go on to grapple with revelations.

There are Spanish words and phrases sprinkled throughout the narrative which lend authenticity to the whole feel of the book. In these days when it is hard to travel, then reading a book that will transport you in an instant and keep you hooked in, is something to treasure. You really can travel for the price of a book!

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