Cover Image: The Spanish House

The Spanish House

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Member Reviews

This book transported me to Spain and reading this dramatic story was so much like binge-watching a telenovela -- with incredible characters and beautiful landscapes! Will wait to read more of the author's work!
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Thanks NetGalley, Aria and Cherry Radford for an advanced reader copy to review. 
A heartwarming set in a picturesque Spain.
I liked it.
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I loved the idea of a book set in Spain but unfortunately the clunky writing and slow pacing didn't match this beautiful setting. I DNF'd at 15 per cent.
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A DNF for me at 20% I haven't really warmed to the characters it the plot, it's not for me I'm afraid.
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The Spanish House by Cherry Radford
Source: NetGalley and Aria
Rating: 3/5 stars

The Bottom Line: Yet another middle of the road, on the fence kind of read for me.  Generally speaking, The Spanish House is a type of book I dive into and refuse to come up for air until I am finished.  A wayward soul looking to find herself is given a list of conditions to be met in order to inherit the quaint little Spanish house owned by her beloved uncle.  With items such as “paint the house – make it your own,” “get on with the neighbors,” and “become involved in the local cultural scene,” this book should have had wonderfully vivid descriptions of a wild and foreign land as seen through the eyes of a quasi-native.  While there certainly are some lovely descriptions, I would have liked more related to the house and how it evolves under Juliana’s care and attention.  Further, I found some of the relationships to be somewhat awkward in terms of the writing.  There is certainly meant to be awkwardness as the plot demands, but the way a few of the relationships ended up felt forced and not at all natural.  

With the above being said, I also found aspects of this book completely delightful.  Uncle Arturo is lovely with his list of conditions and well-intentioned words and actions.  Juliana’s willingness to submit to the conditions and truly sink herself into the experience of Spain is brave and heart-warming, and most of her interactions with Josemi and his mother are frustratingly interesting and often fraught with miscommunication.  Oh, and there’s a goat 😊

In all, I can’t find one quality or another that pushes me over the edge to a higher/lower star rating.  I’m well and truly on the fence.  Do I recommend this book?  Sure, why not?  It’s a good read, not great, but it is good enough to keep readers of the genre interested and turning pages.  I wouldn’t hop it up to the top of your TBR list, but I wouldn’t delete it either.
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Firstly, I would like to thank Netgalley & Aria for the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of The Spanish House by Cherry Radford. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.
The truth when I got the book, I was happy because I like to read books set in Spain because my maternal grandmother was born in Barcelona (even though the plot of the story takes place in the southern part of Spain, in the state of Sevilla.)
When I first approached reading the book, I wanted to be like a lighter and more contemporary version of The Return by Victoria Hislop.
The premise and the idea of the plot are beautiful, but I felt it dragging, and I didn't want to pick up to read the book. I have difficulty believing the complex life that Julie/Juliana had entangled. Her life is full of lies, that if I were in her place, it would be tough not to be mad, and forgiveness is something that it would have taken me a lot of time to give.
Yes, I would love to visit the places she writes about in her blog someday.
There were many times that I said to myself, it is a book that you need to read for review, and that is the reason that I finished the book and DNFed it.
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Very good book about decorating a house and relationships.

Juliana has come to Spain as her Uncle wants her to do up his house that he doesn’t live in anymore on certain conditions that she has to meet.  We see her discovering things from the past that she didn’t know and it changes things for her.  It is the start of new beginnings for her.

Would recommend this book
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A gripping story of family ties set within a gorgeous location. This story has romance, intrigue, excitement and more. 5 stars
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Wow!! What an absolute joy to read!! I feel like I've just been on holiday in Almeria!!
Juliana is a little stuck in her life in Ealing London. Being half Spanish, she is trying to learn more the language with some Spanish lessons. She hears from her Spanish uncle who has a request for her to come out to Spain and spend three months in his little house, painting and decorating and getting to know the places that her mother grew up with, and a chance for some time with her uncle. 
She finds so much more, reconnecting with her roots, and finding out more about her family.  
This book made me long to stroll around the villages, beaches and places she visited. Her neighbours and new friends have been brilliantly depicted. The whole culture and way of life beautifully drawn and easy to imagine!! 
Great read, thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommended. 
Thank you to NetGalley for the early copy.
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Thanks to Aria & Aries, Aria and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

The first book I have read by Cherry Radford but having really enjoyed this, it won't be the last.
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I really enjoyed this book, I didn’t realize that it was a love story as well as a story about family that includes a house in Spain. 
Juliana lives in England and works as an “ethnic” extra in movies and TV shows. Her mother was Spanish, and she has relatives in Spain.

She gets an intriguing letter from her Uncle Arturo that says his home by the sea in Andalusia can be hers if she fulfills a list of 10 things that will bring her closer to her Spanish roots, including redo the house, visit the movie studio where her mother worked, and get along with the neighbors. She’s not sure what that last one means, but she’s got 90 days to finish and must live in the house. 

When she arrives, the house is nicer than she imagined.  The neighbors might be harder, on one side lives a surly, good looking artist whose friendship is going to be a challenge. 

As she goes through the list, what looked like simple requests are turning out to be more complicated as she learns about her mother, who left her to to Spain when she was 7.  She meets family she never knew she had, and learns things about herself as well.

Back to the neighbors, Josemi is a well-known artist and Juliana is initially put off by his manner. As they get to know each other, their feelings deepen, but she’s leaving in 90 days and deciding what to do with the rest of her life. 

The descriptions of Spain, from the scenery to the food, were gorgeous.  I wanted to buy a plane ticket and have some paella, ASAP. Juliana’s personal journey was very interesting and I liked reading about it, 4 stars.
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Delightful story set in scenery which is so perfectly described you can imagine yourself there and feel the warmth of the sun. Light read with an easy to follow story uncovering family secrets. Really enjoyable. 

Thank you Netgalley
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I had a hard time finishing this book. The setting was fun, the premise was there, but for some reason, my connection to the story was lost. Maybe it felt disjointed, but I just didn't connect. Took a while to get back into the story after each time I set it down.
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The story of Juliana, who heads to Spain at the request of her uncle, to help do up  a house in her mothers home town, She has a list of tasks she needs to complete over the next 90 days in order to inherit the house - will she be able to tick everything off the list, and what will she learn along the way?

a great read - makes me want to go to Spain!
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Loved this book particularly as I have stayed in Almeria and visited the Wild West theme park there. What could be better than romance coupled with hot weather and the beach with a challenge thrown in
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This book was special !  The reader felt they were in Andalusia, Spain with Juliana 
It is a feel good story of pure escapism as Juliana finds out more about her Spanish heritage. This was my first Cherry Radford book and I really enjoyed her writing style.
An easy read, with enchanting characters and a great. plot 
Loved it ! 
Thank you to Netgalley, Aria and Aries and Cherry for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest review
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I really liked this book, I enjoy Karen Swan's writing. It was a great story with really good characters and an interesting storyline. Definitely recommend.
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This was the first book I have ever read by this author. I enjoyed reading it. I felt immersed in the story. Will be looking out to other books by this author in the future. Definitely recommend.
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I enjoyed this book.  A tiny bit slow to start, but once it got rolling, I was captivated by the story!   I loved Juliana and enjoyed going for the adventure with her.  A great stay at home and travel book for those of us looking to travel without leaving home.
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“One Spanish summer, one huge family secret”

Author Cherry Radford has written a sweet and poignant romance, with a light touch of mystery and suspense; which took me, along with Juliana, on her delicious journey of self-discovery and enlightenment.

Those opening lines all help to set the scene for this summer of discovery and a lifetime of change. Relatively short chapters kept the pace of the storyline fluid, seamless and fast moving; and as you might expect, all those little loose ends were neatly packaged and tucked away by the end, for that happy-ever-after feeling.

The story was definitely three dimensional, being equally plot and character driven; whilst having the added advantage of that third and all important quality, a genuine sense and essence of time and place, which was rich in cultural and social atmosphere, with a real community atmosphere, making it fully immersive, thanks to the lovely observationally detailed  and vibrant, descriptive narrative, together with  some compelling and perceptive dialogue. A real bonus for any summer “deckchair traveller”, is having an author who is fully invested in the location they choose for their storyline to unfold and the authenticity of the characters they then introduce into that environment and Cherry has that one totally nailed!

The premise tells you in a nutshell the bare bones of this story, so not wishing to reveal too many additional spoilers, I’ll probably not say any more and spoil Juliana’s journey for anyone else. The list of conditions Uncle Arturo sets for Juliana to complete in her allotted time, at first glance appear random and unrelated. However it turns out that the list has been compiled with a great deal of thought and consideration, with the intention of testing Juliana’s suitability and commitment to inherit his coastal property in some depth, with the tasks forcing her to face her past, long forgotten memories, assessing her strength of character, morality and judgement. She also has to prove she is able to adapt and fit into a small rural community, to become as one with them, without forcing them to change in accommodating her.

In some bittersweet moments, Juliana also has to discover, uncover, face up to and own, several personal facts from her past, which have hitherto been kept from her, albeit ostensibly for her own good, although she has often questioned the validity of the stories she has been told. Often raw and passionate moments of reflection, challenge her emotions to the max. How she chooses to deal with them and heal any rifts and cracks which affect relationships with her inner circle of friends and family, is a much deeper challenge, which Uncle Arturo also hopes she will now have the maturity to deal with. Juliana has plenty to learn about herself and her own resolve and stoicism, whilst adapting to take other people’s feelings and motives into account.

This well structured, multi-layered storyline was beautifully textured, immersive, filled with some sweet moments of heart and humour, and authentically written with an assured, intuitive ease of style and confidence, by an author who knows her characters inside out and exactly where she is taking her storyline. At times profoundly touching, emotional and compassionate, there were also some amusing, laugh-out-loud moments and dialogue exchanges, which Cherry wove into the fabric of everyday life, with great care and thoughtfulness. Especially when Juliana meets the ruggedly handsome artist who lives next door. Their on/off friendship literally switches tempo minute by minute, Spanish tempers flare and Juliana is not impressed when it transpires that he too is hiding something from her. Emotions run hot and cold, as they play a game of cat and mouse, which neither really has the heart for, as their eventual fate has so obviously been inexorably sealed from that very first meeting, if only they will take the time to allow their relationship to flourish naturally. It just needs Juliana to step back, take some time to consider her options in the cool, calm manor which Uncle Arturo expects of her and make her final decision right for everyone, not just herself.

A cast of well developed and defined, engaging characters, totally owned this storyline and had been given a huge voice to tell their story, directing and guiding events, with just the slightest helping hand from their creator. Genuine and believable, some vulnerable and complex, they were all authentic, addictive, totally worth investing in and easy to relate to. On the whole, there was a great synergy between them, as they welcome Juliana into their midst, which made this a reading experience to savour slowly and totally indulge in.

In the summer Spanish sun, does Juliana get her house and her man in the end? – Now that would be telling!

This light summer read, kept me engaged and entertained; provided some good moments of enjoyment and escape from reality; and of course the emotion of the storyline was totally evocative – job done Cherry!
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