Troubador Ashes to Accolades

Released: 28/06/2021

ISBN: 9781800462748

eISBN: 9781800469495

aISBN: 9781800469556

Format: Paperback/eBook/Audio Book

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Ashes to Accolades

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In the aftermath of Hitler’s aerial attack on the Basque Country, the Aguirre family are torn apart. The desperate parents send their two young sons, Mikel and Gorka, on a refugee ship to England, never to see them again. 

Struggling to make his way in a new life, Mikel develops a passion for guitar making. He falls in love, and before he knows it, his son, Javier, is born. Impoverished, and now with a family to support, Mikel has nowhere to turn - until an unexpected offer sees him recruited into the British Intelligence Service. Returning in secret to his homeland, his life is suddenly overturned. Will he find his way back home? Will he be reunited with his wife and his son? 

A passion for music, and a son’s longing for the father he never knew, lie at the heart of the story.




In the aftermath of Hitler’s aerial attack on the Basque Country, the Aguirre family are torn apart. The desperate parents send their two young sons, Mikel and Gorka, on a refugee ship to England, never to see them again.

Struggling to make his way in a new life, Mikel develops a passion for guitar making. He falls in love, and before he knows it, his son, Javier, is born. Impoverished, and now with a family to support, Mikel has nowhere to turn - until an unexpected offer sees him recruited into the British Intelligence Service. Returning in secret to his homeland, his life is suddenly overturned. Will he find his way back home? Will he be reunited with his wife and his son?

A passion for music, and a son’s longing for the father he never knew, lie at the heart of the story. This is a beautiful read and the only disappointing thing about it is...it ended! I cannot recommend this book high enough

by NetGalley review


This is an amazing read. From the first page I was engrossed in this page turner. This to me is the sign of a good book. Felt many emotions throughout the book and felt as if I was one of the family. Highly recommended.

by Senga Grant


I became totally immersed in this book and couldn't put it down. The characters,places and all the descriptions of the incidents were excellent. It was very evocative and I have no hesitation in recommending this book .

by Margaret Withington


I found this well written story compelling and historically & musically interesting. Life in the Basque Country before WW2 -politics, the war and resulting refugee situation made me want to find out more about this time in history.
The author’s obvious love of music & especially the Classical guitar inspired me to find out more about the great Spanish guitarists and the intricacies, emotions & discipline bound up with playing well.
It is a sad story with much sorrow and suffering endured because of war and its consequences but there is a thread of kindness throughout and the ending is poignant and triumphant.
I found it difficult to put the book down and can recommend it!

by Diana Muirhead


What a lovely but sad story. The Spaniards especially the Basques had a hard time under Franco and there was a lot of healing to do. It came across strongly, when the son was learning the guitar at the college of music that only someone with knowledge of the technique of playing the Spanish guitar and the skills needed to make one could write this detail.
The story moved along at a good pace making you want to get to the next page.
In the end the father's dreams and love of the Spanish guitar were realised in his son.

by Margaret H


Bill Sandiford

Bill would describe himself as a late developer! He left school aged 15 with no qualifications, but subsequently gained a Maths degree and had a successful career as an Operations Analyst. In retirement he has written a novel which draws on his love of music, especially the classical guitar, and shows a sympathetic understanding of the challenges facing child refugees from a war-torn country. He is a keen fly fisherman, and enjoys painting watercolour landscapes as well as being a Maths tutor.



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