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Palm Trees in the Snow

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,182 ratings  ·  514 reviews
At once an epic family drama and a sweeping love story that spans both an ocean and a generation, Palm Trees in the Snow is an emotionally gripping and historically vivid tale of the secrets that can destroy a family—and the bonds that endure.

When Clarence of Rabaltué discovers a series of old letters from her father’s past, she begins to doubt everything she thought she k
Kindle Edition, 622 pages
Published February 1st 2017 by AmazonCrossing (first published 2012)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,182 ratings  ·  514 reviews

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Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this novel, I had no knowledge at all of Spain’s colonial past or of its control of Equatorial Guinea – a country, in fact, that was also no more than a name to me. For me the great joy of this book was the opportunity to find out about both Spanish involvement in the country and the political path the country has taken since independence. It soon became clear to me that I would enjoy the book more if I knew more of the historical facts, so I did some research, and that helped eno ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This was a book that I was interested in to understand some of the colonial period for Spain. Then, I was more interested in understanding who did what, and how the mystery aligned within the family. Ultimately, however Gabas delivered so much more than a simple reveal, but instead a story infused with love, politics and the complex situations forced upon the family. I loved that the great reveal ended up being much more complex than I was guessing and that we got a deep dive with both generatio ...more
Deborah Quillin
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book.

Although I had a difficult time getting into the book at first, after the first couple of chapters I was hooked. And it got better and better. Stick with it if you're not sure. All the best stuff: romance, intrigue, sex, and some politics and violence.

I thought the writing was quite good and very descriptive. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot which were driven by the historical context of the novel. I thought it was a tightly woven story, well told. And a bonus that I lea
This book needed to be trimmed by 300 pages. It was so slow.
The last 10% which focused on who begat who and life leading to and after Independence was OK but it only skimmed the surface on the corruption, killings, and life in the poverty stricken nation.
Spain’s relationship with Equatorial Guinea, the tensions between the various tribes and the customs of the Bubi’s saved the novel.
This is really a romance story of characters I could not get into with events almost predictable.
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I totally enjoyed this book. It's historical fiction about a time and an industry that I really never thought about. The lifestyle, the plantations of Guinea on the island of "Fernando Po" were something I'd never imagined. A sweet and bittersweet love story, the family secret the next generation feels they must know and understand. Mans inhumanity to man, it's all in there and written very well. I'm glad it's been translated into English for so many more people to enjoy. ...more
This book was a history lesson for me, a reminder of just how little I know of world history . And interwoven in this history lesson were complicated multigenerational romances and family mysteries
The book is set between Spain and one of it's colonies, Equatorial Guinea,both areas that I have very limited knowledge of. Political intrigue, complicated interracial romance, a nation's bumpy road toward independence and geography so compellingly described that I could imagine the textures of the a
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes we are so provincial in our thinking and attitudes that we forget there is a whole wide world out there which does not revolve around the US of A and our cultural norms. There is history form places we never learn anything about and to read it as historical fiction so well written and translated is a gift.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcia by: Jennifer Lerum
Shelves: my-library
Loved this book. It was written so beautifully that it had this reader feeling the humidity of the jungle and smelling the cocoa being harvested from the plantation. An eye opening look of colonialism in Africa.
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle-first
The book started out really slowly for me. The prologue was written from the second person point of view, which I found very disorienting. It took me a long time to read just a few pages, though I don't think it would have been nearly as bad if I hadn't been on an airplane with people chattering all around me while we were waiting to take off. Thankfully the remainder of the book was written from the traditional third person point of view, but it stayed slow for a chapter or two before things st ...more
Brenda L.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read that gave me more than expected. Truly transported to another time and place. It's all about the details and research. ...more
Susan Sherwin
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This long book of fiction translated from Spanish is 600+ pages, and its subjects were new to me. It spans generations of family and locations between the Pyrenees of Europe and an Equatorial Guinean island called Fernando Po.

At the onset in current day Clarence of Rabaltué finds old letters from her father’s past that suggest stories Kilian has not shared--secrets about the island and possible love stories. Journeying across the sea to the colony where her father and Uncle Jacobo spent years w
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I hated to see it end!

I loved this book, it made me slow down, take my time, and really pay attention to what I was reading.
I really liked the character development and the wonderful descriptions of both locations. I became invested in these people and places.
Arantxa Ros
Mar 04, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Pérdida de tiempo y dinero.
Boring. Time and money wasted.
Sara Bruhns
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful love story and intimate look into part of the colonial history between Spain and Equatorial Guinea. Although it was slow at first, it quickly swept me away into a multi-faceted story of relationships with the lush paradise of untouched Africa as a backdrop. The romance between two of the main characters narrowly takes center-stage, but prominent in the story are other relationships; the tensions between colonizer and colonized, friendships formed and tested across racial boundaries, ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a rare case of the movie being better than the book (in my opinion) but still worth it! ...more
Apr 16, 2020 added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I chose not to finish this book. Too much sex for my liking.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
About three years ago, I watched the movie adaptation of Palm Trees in the Snow and it quickly became a favorite. I could not wait to get my hands on a copy of the English translation. Now that I have read the novel, it is also a favorite but for different reasons. While I am familiar with English, French, and Belgian colonialization in Africa, I was not well acquainted with Spain's and thought this book was a good introduction for further research of the time period.

This story starts in 2003 w
Jan 05, 2017 added it
This Kindle First title was undoubtedly the best book I've ever received or read from that service. Palm Trees in the Snow reminds me very much of Cutting For Stone: a sweeping family saga spread over Spain and Africa during the mid-20th century, the volatile, post-Colonial era.

Gabas's book is extremely well-researched and crafted. Her characters are fully developed and believably flawed. She expertly conveys both the local color of the tropical, equatorial island of Fernando Po and the frozen,
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Started this on kindle on 23rd Jan 2017. Family secrets and then the narrative turns to describe the secrets of lives led 60 years ago and extreme racist attitudes in Guinea, a Spanish colony. Marvellous description of vastly differing countries and cultures. Intriguing and then all is not what you assumed after all. Excellent read
Linda Qbq
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book, located in the mountains of Spain and the jungle island off the coast of Guinea. The story follows 3 generations of the same family where the young men spend years working on a cocoa plantation, with long vacations back in Spain. The characters are well-developed. The stories are interwoven and interesting. Parts are violent, and sad, and beautiful. The characters are many different races, black, Spanish, 3 different African natives, all with different cultures. I found learni ...more
Leah Riniker
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Engaging story with historical revalence.

Good story that takes you to another land. One of the few books where I actually checked the map to see if it exists and it does. The history given is close to the actual and shows how lives are complicated by the governments, different Races, cultures and beliefs. I learned something about Africa.

It was a good story with many twists. Based on the story, I do not think that killian would have stayed home at the end but this ending is appropriate. It would
Maggie Ensminger
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful read...sad it had to end. The story is in Guinea during Spanish colonization. Full of information about cocoa and the workings of the large plantations that were prominent at the time. From Spain, a father and his sons will be working on the plantation. The beauty of Guinea, its culture, and its people will have an everlasting effect on the Spaniards. Love will bloom, loss, tragic life choices and the political instability of the country will lead to havoc. I will come back and read th ...more
Lisa Anne Morrow
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book I would normally choose to read. Having an Amazon Prime account, I receive a free Kindle book each month. I chose this book because it was a saga. I am SO GLAD I did. The fully-developed characters, imagery, and plot line made me feel like I was in Equatorial Guinea. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Nora Wojick
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstandingly emotional, adventurous, spine-tingling.

One of the Best novels, I have read in a long time that stirred my emotions and informed me of life in Africa. So filled with life's trials, relationships and political upheavals. SUPERB! I cried a bucket of tears. Thank You!
Lori Wallin
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fascinating Read

Although I thought this book got off to a slow start, I am so glad I stuck with it! The history of the Spanish colonials in Equatorial Guinea was completely new to me, and the fictional family history of the novel was engaging.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story!

Wonderful generational tale. Unforgettable characters. Political climate and historical backdrop fascinating. Best book I have read in a long time.
Marie C Warren
Jan 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful though sad

A fictional story set in real history that brought the setting alive. I really enjoyed this book and struggled to put it down.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I would love to see the movie that was made - if only I spoke fluent Spanish!
Melody L Frese
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Kept me guessing

Kept me wanting to know who was who and how their lives turned out. Interesting story about a part of the world I know nothing about.
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Autora española, Luz Gabás estudió Filología Inglesa en la Universidad de Zaragoza, donde también ha impartido clases. A lo largo de su carrera ha trabajado también como traductora y ha colaborado en numerosas campañas de fomento de la cultura. Además, Gabás también se ha interesado por el mundo de la política, llegando a ocupar la alcaldía de Benasque.

En lo literario, Gabás logró un gran éxito en

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