Have you wanted to run away to a beautiful place and live a beautiful life pursuing the thing you love? Yeah so did Nellie Bennett – except she actually did it! Nellie Bennett wrote Only in Spain in her early 20’s and honestly – goals!
A shop girl in Sydney discovers passion for dance and runs away to learn from the originals? Absolutely down for that story! Though not everyone agrees with me, read more and see why
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Cost: £9.99 (Get it from Book Depository with free worldwide shipping)
Size: 14 x 2.5 x 21 cm
Hours to read: 3 (4-5 leisurely)
What’s it about?
Only In Spain is a memoir of one Nellie Bennett. Bored with her life in retail (I think at least some of us can relate) she takes a class in Flamenco in Sydney. She falls in love with it. Her goals move beyond mastering the dance and she realises that she desires to go to Spain. The book follows her prepping, planning (…we will get to that later), and moving to Spain. It is a borderline diary style tell all of how an Aussie shop girl becomes obsessed with Spanish dance and pursues that. She is also very funny – I would love to meet this woman and have coffee – or tapas – with her!
Did I like it?
I enjoyed it. I read it in one sitting while waiting for a friend.
The writing is simple, it is a very easy read. I got this book for free, from a bookshop which gave away its damaged or tester books – so the copy I have may have more typos and editorial issues than the current volume.
However, the reviews I’ve read from other people concur with me that the writing style is somewhat basic.
There are a few things that drove me insane, and will probably annoy fellow travellers.
That’s not the problem, eat what you like. But if you’re Vegan, and you move to a new country (a country who eats a lot of meat at that), and you don’t even check to see if there’s an appropriate supermarket near the place you move in to?
It isn’t Spain’s responsibility to fit your dietary requirements.
Also, some of the risks she takes are, to me, beyond the pale. As a woman travelling alone, I would never get into a car full of strangers to go to an undisclosed location for a “party”.
But, she doesn’t die (hardly a spoiler, it’s a memoir not a murder mystery).
Maybe you’re not ready to run away to Spain just yet – perhaps a quick 15 Day Classic Spain trip with a G Adventures is just the ticket! Click here for more details.
With these things said, I did enjoy reading it, I did look up flamenco dance studios in town (I did not go, it was shockingly expensive), and I did look up some of the places in Spain she went to.
Do I Recommend This Book?
I would recommend this book to people who want to travel to Spain, or as a beach read on holiday.
I would not recommend this to anyone looking for a detailed story of Spanish culture. It’s fun, and it’s an escape.
If you don’t go in to it expecting a critically acclaimed exploration of Spain you won’t be disappointed and make angry reviews online.
For real people, I’ve read some of the reviews out there and there is no need to be so horrible – the book might be average but the story is nice. Also – she was 22, she moved to Spain, and published a book – she’s done alright!
So my final recommendation for review is – be excellent to one another, act with kindness, and explore what you love (and maybe move to Spain).