A book set in Europe: The South -Colm Toibin

I’ll confess: I let me reading challenge slide a little. I’ve been reading – just not the books I was supposed to. So, months after reading Toibin’s The South, I find that I can’t recall it at all. Don’t let this dissuade you from reading it, though, I’m sure I thought it was very good. It’s just that I don’t have a great memory when it comes to books. Or films. Or people I met at parties. Or… well… anything, really.

A book set in Europe. Ah yes! The husband and I went away to Barcelona for the weekend to celebrate his birthday. As I’m sure many  book-lovers do, I like to read books written in  the area to which I’m travelling. This book is written by an Irish man, about an Irish woman who runs away to Barcelona, leaving her husband and young son, and starts a love affair with an artist, Barcelona, and art in general. The kind of life I think I’d love to have… until I realise I’d be poor, life would be difficult, and without any kind of structure I’d go officially mad.

Barcelona was a delight. My aunt told me that my great (great?) grandmother was a Spanish gipsy, and (as my best friend said when I told her): That makes sense. It was a joy to be in a country of heat and colour and passion. And where being a brunette (on the hairy side) is normal and considered beautiful. I came home with all sorts of plans about where to take my ‘textile art’ in the future. (I’m using ‘textile art’ to describe it for want of a better phrase… it all sounds a little pretentious, to be honest).

 

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