A Romcom with more than a Tasty Twist…
Sometimes it’s nice to have a little peep inside a book before we commit to buy.
And since Costa del Churros is a story with a feminist ‘eat what you want’ message at its heart, I can think of no better snippet than the following from Chapter Twelve, where we join Carmen for her rather unconventional flamenco class, after she has more or less force fed her new recruits on raciones of churros con chocolate:
“My mother’s life was very restricted,” Carmen said with a frown. “Franco’s Spain was all about hypermasculinity and-“
“Come again?” said Julia.
“I mean the stereotyping of the male as the strong, powerful, provider of the family; the hunter-gatherer, if you will.”
“How very sexist!” Even Belinda was giving her full attention now.
“Indeed,” Carmen looked semi-delighted to have finally met Belinda on her wave length. “The only saving grace was that he didn’t touch flamenco, but women were so downgraded, so pigeonholed as to what they could and couldn’t do. I’m not one to dwell on the past; raking it up doesn’t solve a thing.” She secured the artificial black flower that held her mass of waves in place at the side of her head, pausing for thought before carrying on. “But having heard my mother’s story… the way she had to make a choice between playing housewife in Spain… or taking the biggest risk of her life by following the path of her heart all the way to London to become a lawyer – in those days it was nothing more than an impossible, fanciful dream for a woman in Andalusia – perhaps now you can see where my earlier words about the churros con chocolate came from?”
Carmen stopped for a while once again to reflect, bringing her hand to her chin in a portrait of earnest…
…”The very moment we let down our guard so the ordinary day-to-day nuances get swept beneath the carpet; the assumption that a woman should look a certain way, eat certain things, deprive herself of certain others, have a certain job, stay at home to look after the kids, cook the meals, mop the floors… well, this is where it all starts. You may as well throw your destinies out with the potato peelings.”
Laura had to shift her gaze then,a rush of guilt crept over her for the very female cleaner who visited her house every other day.
“And it’s also where the drive for change can start,” Carmen went on, “when we begin to question, why? Why are we behaving like this, why are we following this prescribed set of rules like automated robots? In the end, this is the choice my mother made: she walked away from what was expected of her: keeping a house spic and span… just so the dust could fall half an hour later and she’d be repeating the same thankless process over and over again. There is more to life: fact,” Carmen accentuated her point with a heel dig.
“Please tell us more, Carmen.”
On the other hand, Laura felt genuinely humbled to find herself in this situation, seated before such a fountain of knowledge; a woman who had clearly been inspired to help change other females’ lives.
“It all boils down the a simple choice in the end, Laura, Julia, Belinda, Georgina: Do you want the future generations to be handed down the Sleeping Beauty version of events, or do you want to write a new one? It’s all too easy for minutes to turn into hours, hours to turn into days, and days to turn into weeks, months, a year, five years, a decade, a lifetime. Live your dreams. Embody them. Embrace them. Start now. We only ever have now. Tomorrow never truly arrives, for when it does, it’s merely a brand new now all over again.”
“Hey, you could make one of those Facebook memes out of that quote!” said Liam, covering his face at the realisation he was the only male in the room as his American accent reverberated around the four walls.
“Be our guest,” Carmen began to singsong Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tune with a flick of her invisible duster, an undoubted nod to Walt and Co for their fuchsia pink-ing of girls and navy-blueing of boys…”
COSTA DEL CHURROS, Isabella May
Hungry for more?
Here’s the all important Amazon buying link: mybook.to/costadelchurros