After 20 years of being cut-off from the world, Spain is allowing tourists back into their country. It’s 1957 and the first Hilton property in Europe, Castellana Hotel Madrid- “Your Castle in Spain,” is attracting influential American tourists. Politicians, socialites and businessmen are all enjoying the beautiful castle hotel that once belonged to Spanish royalty but underneath it’s beautiful exterior lies the secrets of a country ravished by Civil War and held captive by it’s fascist dictator Generalìsimo Francisco Franco. While tourists enjoy every extravagance possible, the people of Spain suffer from hunger and isolation; keeping their secrets silently tucked away and reminding themselves that “Memories are poison- don’t take the poison.”
Ana works at the Castellana Hotel Madrid where the rules are simple-to be invisible in plain sight, to be conversational but to keep it one sided. To Ana the hotel is like a fairy tale world where tourist don’t have to worry about going hungry and women get to make there own decisions. Ana’s job is an amazing opportunity to financially help her struggling family and to keep them together. However, Ana and her family have suffered great loss and keeping their secrets is vital to their survival. Will Ana be able to remain silent at the hotel where life seems so different, especially when deep down she wonders if anything can ever be built through silence?
Daniel is visiting Spain with his parents the summer before starting college. Daniel’s father is in Spain hoping to work out a business deal that will allow him to be granted oil drilling rights in Spain. His mother was born in Spain but has lived in Texas as the wife of an oil businessman. When Daniel graduates college he knows he’s suppose to join the family business. He knows what is expected but he dreams of becoming a photographer. He wants to enjoy the photos he creates, something he doesn’t need to inherit. Through his camera lens will Daniel see too much? Will he discover the harsh realities of the Spanish people? When Daniel meets Ana will their friendship uncover secrets that will put them both in danger? I look forward to reading more of their story and learning what’s in store for Ana’s little family. I can’t wait to discover what Daniel's camera will uncover.
The author’s talented, descriptive style and powerful words create an intriguing story that immediately pulls you in, captures your attention and makes it absolutely necessary to keep reading. The historical quotes that are dispersed between the different chapters of the story reminds the reader that although this is a fictional story the events are based on the harsh realities of the history of Spain and the atrocities suffered under General Francisco Franco’s regime. I look forward to completing The Fountains of Silence.
The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous!