Book Review: Ian Pemberton, by Steven Hugh


In dreary, rainy England lived a couple with soul-sucking jobs, and that couple was Ian and Madeleine Pemberton. Madeleine had the stamina to keep working her job. She had family nearby, and when she was with family and friends, she was considered the life of the party, lively and funny. Ian, on the other hand, burnt out of his job as a driver. One day, he took off from work, and it felt so good, he never wanted to go back.

The premise of Ian Pemberton is that Ian talks Madeleine into putting their house up as a rental and moving to southern Spain. Ian’s vague plan is to open a garden décor center. Madeleine decided to be a good sport and share Ian’s dream.

This book covers the problems of moving to a new country with different money, different language, and no idea how to launch a business, or what paperwork is necessary, how taxes in Spain work, and on and on. Madeleine’s troubles start immediately, when her speech isn’t well understood and her witty banter  is not seen as sparkling. She hates the food and eats processed food as much as possible. Ian, however, is captivated by the weather, the scenery, the food, and the rhythms of the lives of native Spaniards. Despite the steep learning curves, Ian is happier than he’s ever been.

As this couple experiences Spanish life and are tourists in new places, the reader is taken on a tour of what must be “the real Spain.” My emotions were tugged in many directions as the couple struggles, makes new friends, and takes tentative steps to a new future.

I recommend this book as a great travel book, especially if you’re considering an extended visit to Spain.

Ian Pemberton

Amazon US link:

Amazon UK link

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