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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Promenade of Desire: A Barcelona Memoir by Isidra Mencos is a true-to-life story of a Catholic girl growing up in Spain in the 1960s when opposition to Franco's regime had become more assertive. Raised by a strong matriarch, she is expected to follow tradition, but there is nobody at home she can talk to about the needs of her maturing body. Franco's death in 1975 led to the country's transition to democracy. As a college freshman in Barcelona, she is caught up in the moment's enthusiasm and becomes an activist. She gets a taste of communal living and open sexuality and falls in love with literature and salsa dancing. What follows is a sexual coming-of-age story in the face of disapproval and repression. This is her story.
Isidra Mencos' Promenade of Desire: A Barcelona Memoir is a fascinating story of a woman determined to live her life the way she wants, not dictated by society. She writes about her most intimate experiences with the objectivity of an observer, and there is no doubt about the authenticity of this narrative. Her refusal to be chained to her culture's limitations provides the story's conflict, and it is all-encompassing. This book is a must-read for women who are still tied to these chains. The writing style is descriptive and is very effective in creating a clear picture in the mind of the readers. This is a captivating and exciting memoir, happening as it is at this time in the country's history. I highly recommend it!