Mary Lavelle, a young and beautiful Irish woman, travels to Spain to work as a governess and see a little of life before returning to Mellick to marry her fiancé, John. Despite the impressive surroundings and her three charming charges, she finds life as a governess to the Areavaga family lonely. But with the arrival of the family's brilliant but married son, Juanito, Mary finds her loyalties and beliefs challenged by his fiery politics and passion.
With characteristic elegance and subtlety, Kate O'Brien, one of Ireland's most beloved writers, illuminates the anguish and ecstasies of a young woman at the heart of a family and a nation divided.
No more than human (1944), by Maura Laverty
Delia spends her early years living in the village of Ballyderring on the edge of the Bog of Allen, her life enriched by the beauty of the Irish countryside. Then one cold November day, Delia stands poised for independance and Spain.
Semi-autobiographical novel, it was banned in the Republic of Ireland because of its frankness about the female body.
That Lady (1946), by Kate O'Brien
Spain in the years before the Armada, and high passion meets high politics.
Ana, Princess of Eboli is a remarkable woman. Married at thirteen and losing an eye in a duel a year later, Ana is also heiress of Spain's leading family, widow of Philip II's wisest cousellor and rumoured to be the King's mistress. Unexpectedly - and unwisely - she falls in love with Don Antonio Pérez, dandy, adulterer, skilled politician. With her unusual looks, her aristocratic arrogance and the simplicities of her faith, Ana cannot understand why her private life should become entangled with the affairs of state and, finally, incur the terrible vindictiveness of the King himself ...
Kate O'Brien's understanding and love of Spain enhance the beauty of this passionate and intelligent novel.
Teresa de Ávila (1951), a biography by Kate O'Brien
The South (1990), by Colm Tóibín
In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland for Barcelona, determined to escape her family and become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and begins to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish émigré in Spain, forces her to reexamine all her relationships: to her lover, her art, and the homeland she only thought she knew.
The South is a novel of classic themes—of art and exile, and of the seemingly irreconcilable yearnings for love and freedom—to which Colm Tóibín brings a new, passionate sensitivity.
Viento del Sur (2001), de Ian Gibson
En vísperas de una arriesgada operación quirúrgica, John Hill, un autor muy conocido por sus célebres obras literarias, ultima los detalles de la primera parte de sus memorias. En ellas cuenta cómo un inglés de Cornualles, nacido en una estricta familia metodista, se ve «salvado» gracias a la literatura y sobre todo al descubrimiento de España. Desde su infancia en Bridgetown, donde no se cansa de observar la migración de los misteriosos ánsares que llegan desde Escandinavia, hasta su reencuentro años más tarde con ellos en Doñana, el protagonista nos narra una vida plagada de peripecias y sucesos entrañables. Aderezada con la flema británica, esta novela describe cómo una vida que en principio parecía condenada a no ser más que insignificante e insustancial, sufre una increíble transformación en su permanente búsqueda de España... en su permanente búsqueda del Sur.
Novela de tinte autobiográfico, escrita en español por el hispanista irlandés Ian Gibson.
Hotel Las Flores (2005), by Kate McCabe
The Hotel Las Flores in Tenerife offers sun, sea, sand and an escape from the humdrum of everyday life. But underneath the surface, all is not what it seems. There's Trish who has arrived with a pressing problem, and her oblivious writing-obsessed husband Adrian in tow. Mollie McGinty and her family are celebrating a win with a trip to Tenerife, even though she cannot stand the heat and her husband will not eat the food. Charlie Dobbins has made the trip to try to overcome his shyness with women. Bobby Bannon is escaping a public humiliation, and society hostess Monica Woodworth is determined to crawl her way back up to the top after a fall.
What will happen when this quirky cast of characters all find themselves staying in the Hotel las Flores? Will they return home with a new outlook on life or even with someone new? One thing's for sure - nothing in their lives will ever be the same again.
Casa Clara (2012), by Kate McCabe
Emma Frazer packs up her job in Dublin and flees to Fuengirola in southern Spain, where she finds refuge in a beautiful little hotel right on the beach – Casa Clara. Here she can escape the mounting pressure from her domineering elder sister Trish who is pushing her into a marriage she herself has grave doubts about. Emma quickly falls in love with the hotel – her little room overlooking the courtyard with its vivid flowers and soothing fountain, the cast of quirky guests, warm staff and flamboyant owner. When the post of receptionist falls vacant she seizes the bull by the horns and, with little Spanish and no experience, cajoles her way into the job. She soon discovers a talent for management and Casa Clara flourishes in her care. When Fate brings the man of her dreams to the door, the future looks perfect. But her scheming sister is still busy tracking her down and eventually Emma must face forces that threaten to destroy the idyllic life she has built for herself.
Magnolia Park (2012), by Kate McCabe
With its flower-filled gardens, splashing fountains and sundrenched pool, Magnolia Park is an idyllic holiday complex in Fuengirola on the Spanish Costa del Sol.
Into this stunning setting comes Amy Crawford and her partner Sam Benson, one of the most sought-after men in Dublin before Amy hooked him. But their relationship is heading for disaster and, once their holiday is over, she plans to confront the self-satisfied Sam and demand that he change his ways. Meanwhile Sam has problems of his own in his job as an advertising executive. He has just completed a lucrative advertising campaign but the client isn’t happy and is threatening to take the contract elsewhere.
Strange things can happen in the Spanish sun, as Amy will discover before her holiday is over.
The Man of her Dreams (2013), by Kate McCabe
Piper McKenzie is young, beautiful and rich - the darling of the Dublin social scene. Married to handsome music promoter Charlie White and successful in taking over the family hotel chain, she looks to have it all. But when Piper discovers that her marriage is not what she thought it was, she's forced to question everything she has held sacred. Then news comes that could have devastating consequences for the future of the family firm, concerning her wayward brother Jack and his self-interested wife Corinne. When Piper escapes to Spain with her young daughter to try to piece back together her world, her path once again crosses with Eduardo Delgado, a doctor she had a love affair with years earlier whilst on holidays. But can a girl create a future on what-might-have-beens? Or can a broken marriage be mended by second chances?
The Spanish letter (2014), by Kate McCabe
Sandy Devine is a young woman who appears to have everything - a stellar media career, a stunning penthouse apartment overlooking Dublin's River Liffey and, after some stormy setbacks, the perfect romance with handsome A&R man Sam Ross. The pair are the envy of the Dublin social scene and it looks as if Sandy's future is bright. But when her mother's health declines and she has to be hospitalised, Sandy discovers a letter in her mother's personal belongings, which unleashes a long-hidden family secret that forces Sandy to question everything she once took for granted. As Sandy sets out on a voyage of discovery that takes her from Dublin to the Costa del Sol in search of her true identity, nothing can prepare her for what lies in store...