Published: 28/01/2018
ISBN: 9781788039680
eISBN: 9781788033893
Format: Paperback/eBook



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Born in Dublin, Stephanie has lived for long periods in Spain and Latin America. She has been a relief and development worker and report writer for overseas NGOs. Her previous memoir recounts her work... read more

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Take Me With You When You Go
by Stephanie Allen-Early

Based on authentic love letters, written to the author by a hapless bullfighter.

Discover post civil war Andalusia, with its Moorish past through the language and culture of local people. Compares 1950s Ireland with Franco’s Spain in the same period, both in the grip of unbending Catholicism.

Take Me With You When You Go is the true story of a young girl who leaves her Dublin home to take her chances in Southern Spain. It takes the form of a first person memoir, written with pathos and humour.

Not many choices were available in the Dublin of that period to “a fatherless child like you with no examinations to your name” and Stephanie is sent off to live in a feudal family of the sherry aristocracy in Jerez de la Frontera. She will be a “Miss” to the children and give them English conversation lessons. The Garvey family are landowners of vast and beautiful estates throughout Spain and she travels to each of these in turn, learning about Spanish life and landscape.

The writer perfectly captures the atmosphere of a feudal household in post-Civil War Spain, which is still recovering from the cruelty and bloodshed perpetrated by both sides. Eventually she is allowed an afternoon visit to the local hotel where she meets young ex-bullfighter, Javier, who takes a strong liking to her and begins to write her the letters of love and friendship which form the backbone of the memoir.

This book will appeal to readers with an interest in the history of Catholic Spain and Catholic Ireland, Spanish travel, culture, and romance.

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A remarkable memoir about a young Irish girl's experience as a 'miss' in a severely regimented Spanish household in the 1950s. It is fresh and most eye-opening, funny and painful.
Liz Calder

From within and without the palatial confines of a wealthy sherry family, the author's eye for detail will delight the reader as she struggles towards womanhood in Franco's Spain having departed De Valera's Ireland. Her reflections and descriptions, especially those on the processions of Semana Santa are the best I have read.
John Liddy

A charming and poignant coming-of-age memoirin which a Catholic girl from Ireland finds herself thrown into the very different but equally Catholic world of Southern Spain.
Julia Blackburn

...not only the rite of passage of a spirited Irish girl abroad but the inside story of what it is like living under a dictatorship in Jerez. Her isolation reflects that of ordinary Spaniards under El Caudillo. This lively memoir veers from the touchingly sad to the hilariously funny, but sight is never lost of painful realities. Take Me With You When You Go
is a rare thing, a good read that is memorable.
Augustus Young

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