Saturday, September 1, 2018

Galician Wineries, Agatha Christie, and Toxic Families: Guest post by Dolores Redondo

Dolores Redondo:
Galician Wineries, Agatha Christie, and Toxic Families: 
The Influences on All This I Will Give to You

The story I tell in All This I Will Give to You had been lingering in my mind for ages, long before I wrote The Invisible Guardian, the first book in the Baztán Trilogy. This might happen to every writer out there: you constantly live between two passions, the book you’re currently writing, and the next one, the one that knocks tirelessly until you open the door and welcome it in. Often you haven’t even finished the previous novel, but still feel anxious to get to the next one. I guess that might have to do with one’s own writing method: for those writers who have the whole story in their minds, the act of writing is secondary. It doesn’t take as much energy as creating it in your mind does. So as soon as I finished the trilogy, I went to Ribeira Sacra to immerse myself in the landscape of what would become All This I Will Give to You.

Landscape is very important to me and always plays a huge part in my novels. I chose Ribeira Sacra because I fell in love with the place. My sister had been living there, and when I first visited her, I started to envision a book set there, with its dramatic countryside and tumultuous weather. In my novels, somehow landscape becomes a character unto itself, adding an extra layer to the whole story by enhancing how the characters respond to their surroundings.

Ribeira Sacra is special for many reasons. It’s a very historical place, full of Romanic art. It’s also very spiritual, which you can sense as soon as you arrive. There are also many castles, palaces, and mansions owned by the nobility. And the people of Ribeira Sacra are unique—they’ve been preserving a way of winemaking that dates back 2000 years, working their own land with incredible pride and often great sacrifice.

All This I Will Give to You is a book with many facets. It’s a crime novel that I consider to be my personal homage to Agatha Christie, who has influenced me greatly. I even have an “Agatha Christie-style” coat I wear occasionally. I feel that there are many links between my novel and her books. Toxic families, the way the powerful family in my book related to the maids and the servers they have around the house, the huge houses they live in and take care of, the massive fireplaces, the care they take of their gardens, their ownership of the land, etc. I have never visited Torquay, Christie’s birthplace, but it’s on my bucket list.

My novel is also about the control that the nobility and the Catholic church still maintain in 21st century Spain. It’s about the secrets we keep, that you don’t know everything about anyone, not even the person who has been your spouse for many years. And it’s about prejudice, which I explored in different ways. My protagonist Manuel is judged for being gay, for being married, and for being a snobbish writer who seems out of touch with reality. Yet he has his own prejudices against his husband Álvaro’s rich family.

And finally, at the heart of the book is the unexpected friendship of the three men—a gay writer, a priest, and a retired policeman—that develops against the backdrop of greed, power and prejudice. It’s easy to judge too quickly, but often we discover that we have much more in common than what sets us apart.

All This I Will Give to You addresses some dark and disturbing issues, but I hope that readers will take away a message of optimism and hope, and also see it as a story that celebrates love, loyalty, and friendship.


Bestselling author Dolores Redondo was the recipient of the 2016 Premio Planeta—one of Spain’s most distinguished literary awards—for her literary crime novel, All This I Will Give to You, which is published in twenty languages to date and will be released in English for the first time by Amazon Crossing on September 1, 2018. Visit her website at

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