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A great story, following two timelines, grandma and granddaughter learn about passion, love and following their heart. As Charlotte searches for answers about her grandma's past, we also learn about this past side by side with Charlotte uncovering the secrets of the past and finding her own future.
I listened to the Audiobook of ‘Under Spanish Stars’ by Alli Sinclair and narrated by Justine Eyre. This is a story that will span three generations as well as across the world from 1945 to the present time. A granddaughter will travel to the other side of the world to help her grandmother find out about a painting. As her Grandmother recovers from a broken hip and heart problems. I have never been to Spain but after listening to the wonderful words of Alli Sinclair I fell as I have as the author‘ description and the narrator's presentation made the story come to life.
Katarina Sanchez has kept her past life in Spain a secret for most of her life but now in her nineties and is hospital she wants a few answers to her past. Her past was full of passion, danger, loss, love, heartache and tragedy.
Charlotte Kavanagh travels to Granada where she starts her search and meets Mateo Vives, a flamenco guitarist who may just be able to help her find what she needs. Charlotte may find more than she ever planned to find as she seeks the answers for her beloved Grandmother from flamenco dancing, history of the Spanish Civil War 1939, the history of her Spanish gitano families, rediscovers her love of painting, love, a mystery, passion and family.
I very much enjoyed this audiobook as the story devolved and the characters set about their journey brought the world or Spain to me without leaving my safe little world. I had a bit of an issue with the Matões voice it sounded like an older male person, not a young sexy young man, so it was harder to connect with him for quite some time during the first half of the reading. Justine Eyre did a great job with the Australian and Spanish accents to give us the full effect of the author's story to us.
A drama full story of two women from the same family, one living her past and the other just starting her future, where they soon find they have many common traits in common with each other along the way.
I just loved this novel! It has everything you want in a book, mystery, enchanting setting, handsome stranger! It sees workaholic Charlotte travelling to Spain for her ailing grandmother to look into a painting that was given to her by her father. The painting was unsigned and her gran really wants to solve the mystery of it before she passes. In Spain Charlotte receives help from dashing guitarist Mateo, who introduces to the world of gypsies and flamenco. As the search for the answers to the mystery painting are revealed, Charlotte starts to uncover secrets from her grandmothers past, and ends up finding much more than she bargained for! This book had me hooked from the start, staying up late into the night to finish it. Charlotte is a refreshing heroine, it was lovely to see the transformation as she realises her life could be so much richer, and I have a bit of a crush on Mateo. Though not my usual genre I'll definitely be reading more of Alli Sinclair's books. Highly recommended.
In 2015, Alli Sinclair was voted Favourite New Romance Author by members of the Australian Romance Readers Association following her debut release, Luna Tango – and it’s not hard to see why.
In this, her second book, Alli once again brings us a dual timeline, introducing us to Charlotte Kavanagh in the present and her grandmother, Katarina Sanchez (Abuela) inhabiting both narratives as the novel revolves around flamenco and the origin of a painting that Abuela was given by her father.
While Katarina’s story takes place against the backdrop of the turbulent Spanish Civil War and the rule of Franco as she tries to eke out a living from dancing flamenco, it is in the contemporary narrative that the mystery surrounding the painting begins to unravel as Charlotte finds herself walking the cobbled streets of Granada and coming into contact with the enigmatic Mateo and the Giménez clan, an aloof and secretive gypsy community,
As Charlotte begins to feel the captivating pull of the world of flamenco and the mysterious power of duende, what started out as a journey of discovery on her grandmother’s behalf soon becomes one of self-discovery with Mateo making her want to lose herself in the Spanish culture.
I was captivated by Alli’s first novel, Luna Tango, not just by the quality of her writing, but the way in which she evoked time and place and, once again, I felt as though I had been transported – this time, directly to Granada - enjoying the sounds of flamenco, tasting the strong gitano wine around the fireplace and watching these talented women dance with passion and verve.
I also enjoyed Alli’s use of phonetic dialogue, which is not an easy thing to do because sometimes conveying authentic dialects and natural-sounding foreign accents can prove to be quite challenging on paper. In Mateo and Katarina though, it’s quite obvious that Alli knows the rules of the Spanish language and her use of diction, syntax and idiom has conveyed the exoticness of the accent in both characters very well, adding flavour and colour to the story.
The flamenco dance as well as the flamenco guitarists are both at the heart of Alli’s story which is well researched. This is evident from the manner in which she demonstrates a thorough knowledge of her subject and shares details of not only the exotic locale of Spain but also its customs, language and traditions. Seeing it through the eyes of someone who has travelled there is what enables Alli to weave a solid sense of place into both the past and contemporary narratives, bringing us a story filled with the pulse and passion of flamenco in all its fiery and complicated beauty.
With vivid descriptions of the cobbled streets of Granada that echo with music and secrets, details relating to the mystical Andalusian customs and culture and vibrant flamenco imagery, Alli has given her readers a well-balanced story blending mystery, history, geography, the rhythms and passion of Flamenco and some light romance.
I like romantic fiction but I usually prefer the protagonists to be a bit older than they are in this book. I like a heroine and hero who have lived a little. So Under the Spanish Skies was a bit out of my comfort zone with its twenty-something main characters and I suspected I might get a bit bored. Not a bit of it! Yes, it’s a boy meets girl tale, yes it’s highly romantic – but in the best way. The characters have depth. They have complex and interesting back stories. And there’s plenty of intrigue. Charlotte is Australian but the need to solve a mystery in her grandmother’s past takes her to Spain where she meets Mateo. As the story goes back in time to when Charlotte’s grandmother, Katerina was young and in love with flamenco guitarist, Raul, the reader becomes immersed not just in the Franco era, but also in the spirit of flamenco and the Spanish gitano culture. Alli Sinclair has done her research but it’s deftly presented and woven into the story and she beings the beauty, architecture and culture associated with the Alhambra and Granada fully to life. The novel is beautifully set - and set up. It’s laced with art, culture and history. It’s also beautifully told. Altogether a satisfying, romantic read.
Charlotte Kavanagh’s Abuela, her grandmother, Katarina Sanchez was desperately ill after a heart attack. Safely tucked away in a hospital in Melbourne, with her brother Steve, and parents keeping an eye on her, Charlotte had travelled to Granada, Spain in search of answers for Abuela. Katarina had been a flamenco dancer in Spain, one of the very best in the 1940s. She had been given a painting by her father before he died, and Abuela was finally in need of answers to all she’d held inside over the years.
Charlotte’s quest took her to a bar in an old part of Granada, where the streets were cobbled and the people full of life. Here she met Mateo Vives who was a flamenco guitarist and connected to the gitana clan whom she sought. As Charlotte learned about Abuela’s past; her life in war torn Spain when Franco ruled; she also discovered connections to the underground. And it seemed Mateo was also tied in to the mystery in some way.
Would Charlotte find what Abuela needed to know? Her discoveries about her grandmother were astounding to her. But it also pointed to Charlotte’s unhappiness with the way her life in Australia was heading…
Under the Spanish Stars by Aussie author Alli Sinclair was astounding, fascinating and wonderful! I was thoroughly involved in the story; both aspects – in the 1940s and the current day – were perfectly executed. The flamenco dancing, the flamenco guitar, achieving duende, the Spanish countryside – all captured my interested and kept me enthralled until the final words. Highly recommended.
Under the Spanish Stars by Alli Sinclair is a brilliant book, a story full of rich emotion, drama, conflict, deep love, intrigue and sadness that keeps you captivated from beginning to end. Alli successfully combines both the present storyline of the woman on a quest in Spain to uncover her grandmother's mysterious past, and the past storyline of this grandmother and everything that happened to her before, and during WWII that only us the reader are privy too for the time being, and why for so many years until the grandmother fell ill, she didn't want to relive her life in Spain as a flamenco dancer under the cruel reign of Franco. In both the past and present storylines, in addition to the rich descriptions of places and people, seamless melding of history, including the Spanish resistance movement she was a part of, the emotional depth carried throughout the story, the inner conflicts, all the drama, of finally discovering yourself, we get a fantastic insight into the world of true Flamenco and the way of the gypsy clans. This truly is a remarkable book that has everything, as well as being just a beautiful love story.