Only in Spain: A Foot-Stomping, Firecracker of a Memoir about Food, Flamenco, and Falling in Love

Nellie Bennett. Sourcebooks, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4022-9385-6
Bennett’s transformational adventure parlays into a fun, sparkling memoir. As an unmarried young 20-something toiling as a shopgirl in a Sydney department store, the plucky protagonist feels directionless, but when she spots an advertisement for a flamenco school she signs up, and the class ignites a passion for the dance and Spanish culture: “After years of feeling lost, I suddenly knew what it was that I wanted out of life.” Soon her journey into the flamenco world leads the anxious vegan (“some people thrive under pressure, but not me”) to Seville to immerse herself as deeply in the art as she can, all while savoring (meaty) tapas and deep-fried churros, and dancing all night. She falls for her flamenco teacher and in love with Seville. The book is most compelling when Bennett returns to Spain to live in Madrid and study at the apex of flamenco schools, Amor de Dios. While teaching English and trying to live on cheap gazpacho, she develops a fascination with Gypsies even dating a Gypsy boy, which lands her in some trouble in a Gypsy ghetto, alone and “married”—according to Gypsy law. (July)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 07/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4022-9386-3
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