Tuesday, 13 January 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera - Review

The Awakening of Miss Prim is the newly-released novel by Spanish journalist and novelist, Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera.

Prudencia Prim is a precocious young woman of intelligence and achievement who finds herself at a cross-road in life. In a rare act of spontaneity, she decides to accept the post of private librarian in the far away village of San Ireneo de Arnois. Once there, however, Prudencia discovers that this idyllic place might contain more than she had anticipated.

You do not simply find yourself in San Ireneo de Arnois; you choose to live there. In every shop or street corner, the philosophies of life and how to live it is continually up for debate. As Prudencia becomes increasingly fascinated, and occasionally at odds, with the villagers' struggles to preserve their community in the face of the modern world, she also finds herself becoming compelled by the dashing yet contrarian intellectual who employed her.

When I was contacted about The Awakening of Miss Prim, I was intrigued; it seemed like a unique story, and inviting; something which I would not normally pick up. And I'm glad that I was sent this novel, because it was fantastic.

Beautifully written, The Awakening of Miss Prim follows Prudencia Prim - a young woman with numerous degrees to her name, from political science to medieval Russian art. When Miss Prim takes the job as a librarian for a man known only as The Man in the Wingchair, in the beautiful village of San Ireneo de Arnois, she is unsure of what to expect. The gorgeous, idyllic village is full of interesting people, including her mysterious new employer.

The library vacancy is a rarilty, as all the villagers know. So even when the highly-accomplished Miss Prim turns up (despite the ad stating that 'graduates and postgraduates need not apply'), she realises that life is going to be a lot different in San Ireneo.

The Awakening of Miss Prim is Natalia's first novel, and it is a delightful read. Even though I found Prudencia quite hard to like at the very beginning, I soon warmed to her character and found her quite charming towards the end of the story. This is a wonderful book; a tale of self-discovery set in a picturesque village, away from modern life, that was a pleasure to read.

Rating: 4/5

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