In 1937, twenty-eight-year-old Martha travels alone to Madrid to report on the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War, and becomes drawn to the stories of ordinary people caught in devastating conflict. She also finds herself unexpectedly—and uncontrollably—falling in love with Hemingway, a man already on his way to becoming a legend. In the shadow of the impending Second World War, and set against the tumultuous backdrops of Madrid, Finland, China, Key West, and especially Cuba, where Martha and Ernest make their home, their relationship and professional careers ignite. But when Ernest publishes the biggest literary success of his career, For Whom the Bell Tolls, they are no longer equals, and Martha must make a choice: surrender to the confining demands of being a famous man’s wife, or risk losing Ernest by forging a path as her own woman and writer. It is a dilemma that will force her to break his heart, and her own.
When the Countess of Walther dies at her German estate, her loyal dwarfess Maria-Barbara is forced to work as a prophet for a traveling magician, who betrays her by selling her to the Queen of Spain. At the royal court in Madrid, Mari finds herself in a bizarre, enchanted world, a society culturally splendid but intellectually isolated. There she becomes Maribarbola, prophet to the Queen, and, her survival at stake, endeavors to outsmart the Spaniards.
Mari's wits and loyalties are tested as she becomes embroiled in palace intrigue alongside the politically embattled Queen. When Mari's carefully schemed prophecies dazzle all of Spain, she and the Queen climb to dizzying heights of power, a place as intoxicating as it is dangerous. But even as Mari survives and thrives at the Spanish court, the loss of identity she suffers from living a lie makes her question whether she is really surviving at all.
Mauro Larrea’s fortune, the result of years of hardship and toil, comes crashing down on the heels of a calamitous event. Drowning in debt and uncertainty, he gambles the last of his money on daring ploy that wins him a neglected house and a vineyard in Spain, an ocean away. He journeys to Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia with every intention of selling the property and returning to Mexio—until Soledad Montalvo, the wife of a London wine merchant, bursts into his life, determined to regain the property which was her family’s legacy. With his plans derailed, Larrea glimpses an opportunity in the flourishing sherry trade and finds himself increasingly drawn to the rich, intoxicating culture of his new surroundings. As his feelings for Soledad ripen into a consuming passion, he vows to restore the vineyard to its former glory, setting the stage for a future he never could have imagined.
Moving from the turbulent young Mexican republic to flourishing city of Havana, and onward to the fertile vineyards of Jerez as the wine trade with England is transforming the Andalusian city, María Dueñas’s new novel spans the New World and the Old. Her tale of family intrigue vividly conjures the noise and grit of silver mines, the sophistication of the Mexican capital, and the earthier lure of ancient vineyards and magnificent cities whose splendor has faded. Here is an “evocative, tender, and lush” (Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author) story of courage in the face of adversity and of a destiny forever altered by the force of passion.
High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Untouched since Franco's forces tore through Spain in 1936, the whitewashed walls have crumbled, and the garden, laden with orange blossom, grows wild. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in seventy years. Emma is London's leading perfumier, but her blessed life has taken a difficult turn. Emma's free-spirited mother, Liberty, who taught her the art of fragrance making, has just passed away. At the same time, Emma has separated from her long-time lover and business partner, Joe, whose baby she happens to be carrying.
While Joe is in New York trying to sell his majority share in their company, Emma, guided by a series of letters and a key bequeathed to her in Liberty's will, decides to leave her job and travel to Valencia, to the house her mother mysteriously purchased just before her death. Emma makes it her mission to restore the place to its former glory. But for her aging grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed in Valencia during Spain's devastating civil war, Emma's new home evokes memories of a terrible secret, a part of her family's past that until now has managed to stay hidden. With two beautifully interwoven narratives and a lush, atmospheric setting, The Perfume Garden is a dramatic, emotional debut that readers won't soon forget.
From the author of The Creation of Eve, “an intoxicating tale of love, betrayal and redemption,”* comes a novel of passion and madness, royal intrigue and marital betrayal, set during the Golden Age of Spain.
Juana of Castile, third child of the Spanish monarchs Isabel and Fernando, grows up with no hope of inheriting her parents’ crowns, but as a princess knows her duty: to further her family’s ambitions through marriage. When she weds the Duke of Burgundy, a young man so beautiful that he is known as Philippe the Handsome, she dares to hope that she might have both love and crowns. He is caring, charming, and attracted to her—seemingly a perfect husband.
But when Queen Isabel dies, the crowns of Spain unexpectedly pass down to Juana, leaving her husband and her father hungering for the throne. Rumors fly that the young Queen has gone mad, driven insane by possessiveness. Locked away in a palace and unseen by her people for the next forty-six years, Juana of Castile begins one of the most controversial reigns in Spanish history, one that earned her the title of Juana the Mad.