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megustaleer

A Woman Unknown

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Lucia Graves, daughter of the poet Robert Graves and his wife Beryl, grew up in the beautiful village of Deia on the island of Majorca. Neither Spanish nor Catholic by birth, she nevertheless absorbed the different traditions of Spain and felt the full impact of Franco's dictatorship through the experience of her education. Lucia found herself continually bridging the gaps between Catalan, Spanish and English, as she picked up the patterns and nuances that contain the essence of each culture.

Portraying her life as a child watching the hills lit up by bonfires on Good Friday, or, years later, walking through the haunting backstreets of the Jewish quarter of Girona, this is a captivating personal memoir which provides a first-hand account of Catalonia, where Lucia lived and raised a family. It is also a unique and perceptive appraisal of a country burdened by tradition yet coming to terms with political change as the decades moved on.

 

 

I bought this book to read on holiday in Catalonia, and enjoyed it very much, particularly the section on Girona, as I happened to reach that chapter on a coach excursion to Girona and was able to see the places she described (sadly updated to accommodate the vast numbers of tourists, so not as atmospheric as she had experienced it)

 

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