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Castro's Dream Paperback – 6 May 2004

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (6 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571216382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571216383
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,879,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'This excellent debut novel hints at the skill of past masters of the thriller genre such as Chandler and Leonard,' The Times --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Castro's Dream by Lucy Wadham is full of sustained menace, of reluctant yet addictive relationships, and of the struggle of the Basque separatists - a story of love and the forces that are its undoing.

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I don't normally read books about terrorism but as Lucy Wadham is a fine writer I thought I'd make an exception and I'm glad I did. Astrid and Lola are sisters living in exile in Paris after their often unwitting previous involvement in Basque terrorism. Astrid, now a transplant surgeon, is the older sister who is always trying to protect Lola and even went to prison in her stead. Lola, a dancer, is in love with Mikel, a Basque terrorist who is due to be released after twenty years inside and just wants to put the past behind him. Although he was Lola's lover, he has decided that he actually prefers Astrid and has been writing to her secretly from prison. When he is finally released, both sisters head south to meet him for entirely different reasons. Castro, incidentally, is the name of the devoted dog that Mikel has recently adopted. En route, Astrid gives a lift to an Algerian youth called Kader who becomes hopelessly besotted with her and follows her all the way to San Sebastian. Although set in France and Spain, this novel is really a Greek tragedy as the girls were not only born in the Basque country, but their father was also an ETA lawyer meaning that their chances of complete escape from the organization were always slim. Although Lucy Wadham paints vivid and sympathetic portraits of the main characters (particularly Astrid, Lola, Mikel and Kader) the message is that terrorism ultimately destroys not only its victims but also its practitioners.
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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 July 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Basque liberation movement is not one that features hugely on British news (bar the nastier terrorist attacks); if you are interested in finding out more about it, this novel is a good and clear guide. It also shows very vividly how terrorism can destroy lives.

Astrid and Lola Arnaga are Basques (in fact, they're both half Scots, half Basque) living in exile in Paris. Astrid is a top transplant surgeon, involved in an unhappy affair with a married senior doctor. Lola is a dancer and dance teacher. As the story opens, both sisters are waiting anxiously for the release of Mikel, a Basque terrorist gaoled nearly twenty years previously, and Lola's former boyfriend. Lola is imagining that she and Mikel can begin their lives together afresh, and have another chance. Astrid (who went to prison in Lola's place to save her being gaoled for her association with Mikel) is trying to share Lola's joy but is in fact anxious. Mikel has been writing to her from prison, and she knows that not only has he come to regard his past work as an activist with disgust, but that he has begun to develop a strange passion for her. While Lola heads off to the Basque country to meet Mikel, Astrid stays in Paris. But she soon realizes that Mikel may come to join her there, and decides to hurry to the South to try to head him off. On her way she meets Khader, a teenage French-Arab runaway, with whom she forms a strange and close bond. Meanwhile Mikel, released from prison, is dreaming of a simple life with a cottage and a dog, and of finding Astrid - he has no desire to see Lola again. And Mikel's former associates, particularly the traitor Txema, are hunting for Mikel, terrified that he might let out some of their secrets...
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