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A Barcelona Heiress

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A historical detective story set against the social and political tumult of 1920s Barcelona and based on the real events of the end of a dazzling era.

In the decade before the Spanish Civil War, Barcelona is on the verge of boiling over. Pablo Vilar, a well-connected young lawyer and journalist, meets several mysterious people who seem to hold clues to what is brewing in t
ebook, 318 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Barcelona eBooks (first published 2010)
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3.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  45 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Lorina Stephens
Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sergio Vila-Sanjuan's A Barcelona Heiress has all the ingredients for a great novel, following in the tradition of early 20th century writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and John Steinbeck. There is the hotbed of political unrest during the Crown-supported dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera, anarchists bombing Barcelona, a growing discontent of the country's poor and working classes.

Into this the author introduces a protagonist based upon his own family's history, an indigent aristoc
Viviane Crystal
Sep 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Barcelona, Spain is on the verge of Civil War in the 1920s. The story of this multi-layered conflict is narrated by lawyer and journalist, Pablo Vilar. He's a man who in the name of both careers attempts neutrality in the conflicts but also a man who is constantly being swayed by partisan characters who want him to write articles favoring or defending one side against the other side. While he is not influenced that much, what he sees and hears is worthy of our attention, for it is the "stuff" of ...more
Lara Kleinschroth
Apr 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
From and ARC sent by Netgalley for review

Spanish history is rich and complex and here the author focusses on a time we hear little about - the early 1920's, a time of civic and cultural unrest, a dozen years or so before the Civil War. This particular story is based on the life of the author's own grandfather, taken from notes he left. Pablo Vilar is a lawyer and journalist, in a unique position to observe all sides and help those he can without taking sides, while battling to maintain his own m
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommend
An excellent read for those who love this great city. The tensions leading up to Franco's dictatorship are written clearly and in first person. The fact my late father in law, Dr. Francisco Merino, was born there and escaped Franco's police to settle in New York City, may have added a star for me. Sadly, we never got around to discuss his experience in any detail.
Antonio Iglesias
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesante novela sobre los años 20 en Barcelona. El protagonista es Pau Vilar, un abogado y periodista monárquico. Un día la artista de varietés Maria Nilo le pide que la defienda en un caso en que fue agredida por 3 hombres. A través de ella conoce al sindicalista Angel Lacalle, que le da a conocer una Barcelona lejana al ambiente burgués en que vive.
Jun 03, 2018 rated it liked it
I was totally without clue about this time period. It took me a bit to get into the story, but then I was hooked.
Carles Muñoz Miralles
Novela muy interesante para entender la Barcelona de los años 20 desde un punto de vista distinto al habitua: normalmente se nos habla desde el punto de vista obrero o de los cabarets; en cambio, aquí usa el atípico punto de vista de la patronal, del hombre rico y reaccionario que ve las reivindicaciones obreras como poco más que una abominación, y junto con él vamos descubriendo las luces y sombras de los anarquistas, de las mujeres de vida alegre y de la gente bien. Eso sí, la trama da poco de ...more
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was ok
Read my full review @

Synopsis: In 1920's Spain, which is on the cusp of Civil War, the living differences between the rich and the poor are glaring and those with their own agendas are manipulating the system. Simmering beneath the surface is someone murdering individuals whom have been found innocent of their crimes by the courts.

Narrated from the perspective of Pablo Vilar, an attorney and journalist, who is always being manipulated from the interest groups wanting their
The Lit Bitch
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I really liked the setting. I thought the high society and gritty underworld worked well together. That mixture really highlighted the mystery and added a great contrast to the era.

I am not very familiar with Spanish history or social structure during this era and I thought some of the facts were a little lost on me. There were a lot of references to predominant figures in Spain during this era and I found myself struggling to remember who was who and what their function was. I think I would ha
Melisende d'Outremer
The author assumes the readers' familiarity with the subject matter as a given. Had the author provided a short background to this story, then the fictional narrative would have made more sense. As it was, the execution was lacking as there was no real connection between narratives - it comes off as a disjointed attempt to recreate the glitz and glamour of the Gatsby era with the setting in Barcelona.

see full review here @ Melisende's Library
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
For someone who knows Spanish political history, this book would be interesting background, I think. Also of interest to those who know Barcelona and its society well. It reads like an old detective story from the 1930's, so kind of fun in that way.
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Sergio Vila-Sanjuán (b. 1957), one of Spain’s best-known cultural journalists, is the coordinator of the Cultura/s supplement of the newspaper La Vanguardia. Vila-Sanjuán has published several books on journalism and was commissioner of the Barcelona Year of the Book and Reading in 2005. His first novel, A Barcelona Heiress, inspired by historic events and by his discovery of a manuscript by his g ...more
“Catalonian industry had flourished by supplying the belligerent states engaged in the Great War, during which my mentor, the then-president, Eduardo Dato, who years before had given me my start in the legal profession in his private law firm, had pronounced Spain’s neutrality in the conflict, a decision ratified by King Alfonso XIII.” 1 likes
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