Author: Hannah Fielding

Publisher: London Wall Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-9926-7188-4

                                         Love Triumphs in the End

Hannah Fielding has written a number of love stories, one of them being the award winning  Echoes of Love. Her books are great holiday reads, being extremely evocative of the time and place. Not only that, her women protagonists have the unique propensity of sexual fidelity to one and only one person. How Hannah achieves this kind of tightrope balancing is anybody’s guess, but believe me when I say that even in our relatively permissive sexual milieu, her heroines are eminently credible and convincing in their sexual mores. But, when the conditions are ripe, the dams of emotion burst forth, and the sexual climaxes are magical. They are described in considerable detail, as a befitting tribute to the woman’s chastity.

In this book, the author takes us to post Franco Spain. There are no telephones, no big chain department stores. To shop, people used to go to a market where vendors sold their wares. Air travel, while existing, is not as common as it is today, so rapid communication is not a viable possibility. The aristocracy live in large family estates with huge gardens and there are long time retainers who serve them for generations and are privy to the family secrets. Common interests, at least in this book, are horses, bull fights and balls. And, of course there are the gypsies who add an element of spice to the storyline, with their darkly flamboyant personalities, their hatred of the landed gentry, their dancing and their fortune telling.

Alexandra de Falla is twenty five years old. She is half English and half Spanish. Her English mother has passed on and she is brought up by her mother’s sister, her Aunt Geraldine in England. She has not had much contact with her father’s family, except as a child. So when her father comes to England to invite her to Spain, she accepts with some deliberation. She is also a writer with two published novels to her credit, and which allow her to be financially independent when she leaves for Spain.

Her welcome in Spain is mixed. Her paternal grandmother is a matriarch who runs the real estate with an iron hand. Her partiality to Alexandra results in the latter having to endure envy and unpleasantness from other members of the family. Alexandra also finds love in her cousin, but past secrets prevent them from expressing that love openly to each other. How these impediments are ironed out is the content of this story. A sequel to this book entitled “Masquerade” has also appeared.

Hannah’s writing is usually quite evocative, but in this book, she has surpassed herself with the richness of her scenic descriptions. The milieu of Spain in the early fifties was a time when life moved slowly and people had more time to smell the roses and other fragrances in order to rejuvenate themselves when an avenue of communication was blocked. Reading this book will take you to a time and place where primal emotions were allowed full reign and not kept under a leash for the sake of rationality.

I recommend this book warmly.