Friday, 13 April 2018

El Hacho by Luis Carrasco


El Hacho by Luis Carrasco
Published in the UK by Epoque Press on the 22nd February 2018.

How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the publisher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £7.99 (PB)
Wordery : unavailable
Waterstones : from £7.99 (PB)
Amazon : from £1.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

The brilliant debut novel by Luis Carrasco, El Hacho is a timeless evocation of inheritance, duty and our relationship to the landscape that defines us. Set in the stark beauty of the Andalusian mountains it tells the story of Curro, an olive farmer determined to honour his family tradition in the face of drought, deluge and the lucrative temptations of a rapidly modernising Spain. Wonderfully crafted, El Hacho is a poignant and compelling story of struggle and hope.

I'm generally wary (and often downright sceptical) of a synopsis that starts with such high praise for the novel it describes, but in the case of El Hacho I can agree that 'brilliant' is completely justified! This novella beautifully evokes the hard lives of its rural Andalusian farming family and I loved spending the few hours with them that it took to read El Hacho. Having seen the dry Spanish landscapes that Carrasco describes, I could easily imagine this countryside. Even if I had not been there though, the descriptions are so vivid and detailed that every field and path springs to life.

Curro himself is a man completely at one with his land and, as he says, who could never envisage himself anywhere else even though the work to maintain his farm is back-breakingly hard. I did not envy him or his wife, Carmen, their seemingly endless labour, but I found myself hankering after their peaceful, natural home! Carrasco's understated prose complements Curro's taciturn ways perfectly and I particularly loved the strong bond between Curro and Carmen. This is a lovely read and a wonderful insight into a fast vanishing way of life.


Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Luis Carrasco / Novellas / Books from England

8 comments:

  1. This sounds like a fascinating read! I really enjoy books that immerse you into a way of life you may not otherwise experience. Great Review!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. Thanks Tori!
      This was one I took a chance on and am delighted to have done so :-)

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  2. I am always just in awe of the wide variety of books you read. You are far more skilled at that than I am. Great review!

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  3. oh I'm going to have to read this one. I made my goal to read as many andaucian books as possible. My Family is from Sevilla and my MCs in my WIP are gitanos :-)

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    1. I think you will love El Hacho then. It's such a perfect illustration of this way of life

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  4. I actually think I was with a friend when she bought this book. I can see why you were wary of that synopsis! But this sounds like a delightful novella that was well worth the read despite the early skeptism. Maybe one for me to try too.

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    1. Absolutely give El Hacho a try! In fact, make sure you're first in line to borrow your friend's copy :-)

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