When Angela turns up in a remote Spanish mountain village, she is so tall and so thin and so pale that everyone thinks she is a ghost or a fairy or the dreadful mantequero that comes in the night and sucks the fat from your bones.
But Domingo knows better. “Soy Angela,” she said to him when they met – “I am an angel.” Only later did he realize that she was telling him her name and by then it was too late and everyone knew her as Domingo’s Angel.
This is the story of their love affair. But it is also the story of the people of the tiny mountain village – the indomitable Rosalba – shopkeeper, doctor, midwife and wise woman, who makes it her business to know everything that goes on in the village; Guillermo, the mayor, whose delusions of grandeur are rooted in his impoverished childhood; and Salva the Baker, who risked his life and liberty to give bread to the starving children.
The events in this story are based on the real experiences of the people of the White Villages in Southern Spain and their struggle to keep their communities alive through the years of war and the oppression of Franco’s rule.
Review: The 1950’s trying to deal with the grief of the war, or maybe the past. Wanting to find somewhere to feel alive receiving a fresh outlook and start on life. Changes are revealed in this heartwarming story within a story.
Angela who is English moves to a small Spanish community untouched by the outside world. She meets Domingo where of course romance takes its course and each end up helping the other get past the so called excess baggage. As Angela settles into her new life she learns that all communities are not cold and unwelcoming. They can be warm and inviting.
Angela has allot to overcome just as everyone else does. The romance with Domingo is kind of a backsplash for the story as her relationship with the matriarch of the village; Rosalba seems to take center stage. They each end up helping the other heal from the past which forms a strong bond between the two helping also get Angela settled into the village. It was funny to read about the differences in the cultures as it is in most stories as the characters somehow find ways to communicate and help each other.
Each person in the village has their own story. You can’t help but become connected as you hear about the sometimes funny, sometimes tragic and sometimes poignant things that helped in molding their lives. With each story you could see the hopes and dreams that come from the ashes of war. Where people where once cold and uncaring with the warmth and love of family/community they are able to move on realizing that there is hope in a tattered world.
Ms. Twist wrote a wonderful story within a story. Each character had depth to them making them seem real. The vivid description of the surroundings placed us right there in the village standing beside Angela, Domingo, Rosalba and every other member of the community even the loveable cat.
A very gripping story with just the right mix of human/realism and fantasy to keep you involved. I enjoyed the way Ms. Twist told things as they are. Not one to sugar coats the truth. Also, she did a good job switching POV’s and yet still able to make the story read smoothly.
A great read for those who love the strong bond/relationship within the community.