by Lawrence Bohme
After a traumatic “divorce” from his mother in Paris, at the late age of forty-one, Lawrence returns to southern Spain in 1983, where he lived as a student twenty years before. Spanish society has changed radically since the Dictator Franco died seven years earlier, forcing the Catholic Church to loosen its iron grip over the country’s morals, and Lawrence can scarcely believe he is in the backward country he once knew. Some of the changes are unpleasant to him because they reflect a new commercialism and hedonism, but our hero is astonished and enchanted to discover a new generation of Spanish women, so different to the repressed, prudish creatures he once knew.
After making his way to the village near Granada where he once spent his summer holidays, Lawrence moves into an abandoned farm house in the hills and sits down to write about his life of adventures. At the same time, he befriends a group of university students who share a house in Granada, where he meets the rebellious Rocio, a peasant girl from the farm lands who was crippled by polio as a baby.
The author, an external translator for Unesco and simultaneous interpreter trained at the University of Madrid and the Sorbonne in Paris, is best known for his books about Spain (Granada, City of My Dreams; Portrait of Montefrio; Stories from Spain) illustrated – with his own pen-and-ink drawings.
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