HAPPY AS A PARTRIDGE, A LOVE LETTER TO IRREPRESSIVELY LOVELY MADRID!

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Kate:  “I like to think of the book as a love letter to the city as well as an entertaining and
light-hearted look at the life of an expat teacher in Spain 

 

A Guidepost report

Madrid buffs, and buffs in the wings, here’s a latest on your favorite capital city: Happy as a Partridge: Life and Love in Madrid.

Yep, feliz como una perdiz!

The storyline

Evie Fuller is quite simply fed up. Single, unemployed and rapidly approaching her thirtieth birthday she finds London life is weighing heavy. When a month of free language lessons offer an escape route, she heads to Madrid for sun-soaked adventures and a crash course in Spanish culture. Will a change of scene restore her zest for life?

The author’s friend and Spanish teacher Bea in Croatia: A Happy company

Thousands of Brits move to Spain every year, but none of them have quite the same experience as Evie. With the sun, tapas and la vida loca she struggles with culture shock, linguistic misunderstandings and a host of new experiences.

No Spaniard would dream of eating dinner before 9 pm at the very earliest, their constant invasion of your personal space is unavoidable and they speak VERY loudly. Who knew that ‘doing the cobra’ means ducking out the way of a kiss, and who could fail to love a country where so many people pronounce beach as bitch?

Happy in Lebanon

Follow Evie as she laughs, cries and adjusts to these foreign lands. Cringe as mechanics test her prudishness to the limits, laugh as she awkwardly dates a host of Spanish men and watch as a shy English girl blossoms under the Spanish sun and discovers the hardest thing about moving abroad is deciding when to come home.

In El Salvador

The author says: ““I miss the light [of Madrid] most of all but also the friendliness, directness and positivity of the madrileños, the quality of life and the challenge of keeping a straight face at some of the hilarious mistakes my students used to make!  I adored my time in Madrid and I like to think of the book as a sort of love letter to the city as well as an entertaining and light-hearted look at the life of an expat teacher in Spain.”

The author

Her name’s Kate Boyle. She grew up in Essex, earned a first-class degree in History of Art from Bristol University. After nearly a decade of working in London, a dogged desire to conquer her inability to roll her r’s led her to Madrid, where she spent two and a half years teaching English to Spaniards, never growing accustomed to their regular comments on her pale skin.

Now back in London she spends hours dreaming of the sunny skies of Madrid and persists with the irritating habit of dropping Spanish words into conversation at random. When she’s not revisiting her adopted homeland or perfecting the art of the Spanish tortilla, she can be found in a PR agency by day and writing her second novel by night. She regularly writes for an antiques magazine and has contributed to two architectural books.

Happy as a Partridge is her first novel and the title is a translation of the Spanish expression feliz como una perdiz, meaning happy as Larry.

Kate with hauntingly beautiful old Madrid behind her

Not that Kate’s was a case of love at first sight. “If I’m brutally honest I was initially unimpressed with Madrid,” she confesses. However, by the time she finished her month of lessons she “had fallen head over heels in love with the city, it’s charm, it’s vibrancy and it’s warmth and decided to stay a bit longer.”

The why of Happy: “I spent the next two years working as an English teacher in an institute, various businesses and with individuals and had so many challenging, hilarious and downright ridiculous experiences that I decided to write a novel about a girl going through a similar adventure.”

Happy at The Passenger, in Malasaña, Madrid’s most free-spirited barrio

When Kate is not revisiting her adopted homeland or perfecting the art of the Spanish tortilla, she can be found in a PR agency by day and writing her second novel by night. She regularly writes for an antiques magazine and has contributed to two architectural books.

“I miss the light [of Madrid] most of all,” she says, “but also the friendliness, directness and positivity of the madrileños, the quality of life and the challenge of keeping a straight face at some of the hilarious mistakes my students used to make!  I adored my time in Madrid and I like to think of the book as a sort of love letter to the city as well as an entertaining and light-hearted look at the life of an expat teacher in Spain.”

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