But the wily women of Libarté are not about to go down without a fight. Their magazine means more to them than numbers on a spreadsheet. Their work is their safe haven, their support system. They are not about let some upper-crust young Englishman waltz in and ruin their lives. Instead, they have a plan.
The altogether unexpected disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is the fifth novel by Spanish writer Maman Sanchez, and the first to be translated to English. The Spanish humour however still plays strongly through the English language.
Strong characters, attention to detail, and a warm storyline make this book a classically good read. It feels like a story that could be told around a campfire or dinner table, half fable, half tall tale.
The cultural differences between the English and Spanish are exaggerated in a hilarious fashion that allows both cultures to have a good laugh at themselves and each other: The wild, cave-dwelling Spanish and the stuffy, uptight English.
At times I found this book hard to read. The pages didn’t always want to turn that freely. Like most meandering tales, sometimes the storyteller wanders off topic into territories that are less interesting than others. But soon enough the path is rediscovered and the story finds its focus.
The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman is a quirky, slightly satirical, hilarious read.
Penguin Random House New Zealand