Published: 28/07/2015
ISBN: 9781784623302
eISBN: 9781784626051
Format: Paperback/eBook



'Ray Harwood's strengths lie in characterisation and visualisation of the scenes in which his characters are going to blossom and come forth, enabling him to tell his story. The setting is idyllic, the cirumstances of Pedro's father's death at sea suitably tragic to instill an immediate rapport with the survivors of his family. In the first volume of what I believe to be a six-part series, Harwood lays the foundations for Pedro (Peter's) early life and experiences, and the hotel setting, where he comes into contact with the various characters who are going to shape his life, his future, is nothing short of inspired. Harwood's words are carefully chosen, but they are easy on the eye, warming, comforting, and above all interesting. It's easy to visualise, along with the author, the scenery, easy to digest the brilliantly effective dialogue. It's much, much more than a holiday read.'
Books Monthly

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Last Sardana
by Ray Harwood

With linked hands, the human circle perambulated, moving to the left in the precise step sequences that had been the format through centuries of performance.

Last Sardana begins the story of a mother, Maria Martinez, and 12-year-old son Pedro, with modest beginnings in Rosas, a Spanish Costa Brava fishing village. Set in the fifties, Maria was widowed by a tragic disaster at sea. Together they uproot south to be under the wing of her brother-in-law, who is developing an hotel on the Martinez family land.

Maria and Pedro, in their separate ways, become pivotal to that. There Pedro is exposed to the ‘University of Life’ through adolescence itself. His creative talent is encouraged and exposed, as are the challenges of a veritable fan club of contemporary girlfriends, discovering their own emotions and playing with his. Diverse characters comprising the initial hotel clientele enter his life, as do a field of sunflowers and a deaf, mute boy whose great artistic talents Peter discovers, to take into the future. Maria finds new and exciting love too...

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Books Monthly

Books Monthly

What starts off as a story about a Spanish family suddenly gets you hooked on the drama, romance, sadness and happiness of events in their everyday life.

You feel you know the family personally, along with the people they meet, keeping you wanting to read what happens next in each of their lives.
Erotic moments are tasteful. The story is exciting and fun and is more addictive than any TV soap!

by Veronica Satchell


An emotive rites of passage novel set along the gorgeous Catalan coastline, Last Sardana is the first in the sweeping Sardana trilogy. It follows young Pedro ‘Peter’ Martinez on his journey from childhood to manhood, encapsulating all the high drama and low points of family life, as well as love, lust and hubris, tragedy and borderline farce.

Ray Harwood escorts his reader across a mountain range of emotions as he recreates the Mediterranean of the 1950s, with all its Spanish warmth and passion. Humour seasons the story and there are several amusing moments, but this is essentially a serious family saga, rich in tenderness and strong sexual undercurrents.

For would-be readers wondering about the Sardana of the title it’s a swaying Catalan group dance – an apt metaphor for the novel’s themes of family unity and the shifting emotions that relationships evoke, as well as the maritime settings, with their tidal ebb and flow.

by Miriam Pereira


Interesting read, so much so I went on to read Sardana Encore straight away. Royalties from these books go to Blesma . Enjoy.

by Paula Morris


As a staff member of Blesma, The Limbless Veterans, the charity that is a beneficiary from the sale of Ray Harwood's books, I was very curious to start my journey with the Martinez family. I have been very fortunate to meet the author and his 'must read' book very much reflects his personality which is fun, entertaining and very likable. I look forward to continuing my journey with the next book in the series, Sardana Encore

by Barbara Warner


This story introduces us to the Martinez family, and takes us on their journey of lifes challenges.
Each charatcter has their own unique individuality.
You dont just read this book, you "watch" it as well.
A must book to pop into your suitcase, but beware you may forget to go sight seeing.
The next book in this series is Sardana Encore, which I have already downloaded.

by Sue Moynehan


The Last Sardana is a book bursting with personalities. The characters have been written in such a way that by the time you reach the last page, you feel you have actually met them and spent time sitting beside them by the Martinez Hotel swimming pool. Ray Harwood's description of the Sunflower field enables the reader to visualise the beauty and elegance created by such a scene through his choice of words. This is a warm, interesting and emotional introduction to the Martinez family and the circle of outside relationships that bind them together. This book will take you to a sunny place even on the coldest of winter days!

by Theresa Dawes


A good read and story line. I will be reading more of this series

by Annette Spicer


This book is set in 1950s Spain and explores, amongst other things, family love and loyalty. It is rich with interesting characters and believable and intriguing situations. A good read.

by C Warner


As usual I was ill prepared with my holiday reading material...My wife, however, was well stocked up, so I raided her stash. I found amongst the magazines and books a cover of Sunflowers that took my fancy and this was my introduction to Pedro Martinez. I was delighted to have found an excellent and easy read to suit my sunny surroundings and rather lazy holiday, but the more I read the more I knew I would have to follow this series of books to the end. I am now somewhat hooked and shall be settling down at home to enjoy the very last word of the very last page that is yet to come. The story of Pedro and the invasion of the tourists to the Costa Brava is a ripping yarn that I would readily recommend. I remember my first holiday abroad which by coincidence was in Callella Spain, a location prominent in the book. From Pedro's early tragedy as a child through to his dreams of university kept me intrigued and the mix of characters and adventures makes a great read. Not forgetting of course Maria, you will have to read it yourself to find out more!

by Trevki


 

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