The privileged natural environment of our luxury homes on Tenerife offers its visitors gifts that have long seduced artists from every era and discipline. The mild climate, sun-drenched landscapes, the serenity of the Atlantic, and the warmth of its people are attractions that have made the Canary Islands not only a place of refuge but also the setting for numerous literary adventures. For the days when all you want is to lie back with a book and enjoy the lovely temperatures of our exceptional paradise, here are a few suggestions for stories set in the Canary Islands archipelago.
Perhaps you’ll be surprised to learn how many renowned international authors have surrendered themselves, like you, to the charms of the Canaries. If you’re looking for a bit of entertainment and want to learn who shares a passion with you for this tropical Spanish enclave, here are a few books that will take you further into the Islands without you having to set foot outside your luxury home on Tenerife.
San Mao and her tragic tale
If you begin poking around for books set on our islands, it’s easy to find some very interesting ones that will do double duty and satisfy your curiosity about your surroundings and how acclaimed artists have been inspired by them in their work. One such person from the international literary world is the Taiwanese writer San Mao. Well known and revered, she was a feminist icon in her country thanks to her travels throughout Europe, made solo and without prior knowledge of any language spoken on the Old Continent, and which she recorded in numerous books. The one that we’re recommending today isn’t by her, but rather about her time in the 1970s in La Palma, where she lived with her husband and great love of her life, the Spaniard José María Quero. The book is called El Olivo y la Flor del Ciruelo, by Manuel Poggio, and edited by the Cabildo Insular of La Palma in 2014. It tells the tale of her relationship, and of José’s (or Hexi, for the millions of Chinese and Taiwanese who know his story) tragic death while diving off the Canary Islands in 1979. San Mao never recovered from the loss and ended up committing suicide in her native country many years later, on the 4th of January, 1991.
The magic of a classic: Jules Verne
Another of the acclaimed artists who succumbed to the charms of the landscapes surrounding our luxury homes in Tenerife and that continues to have legions of fans more than a century after his death is the marvellous Jules Verne. If you loved the adventures narrated in this books when you were an adolescent, or still remain a fan today, you must pick up The Thompson Travel Agency, translated into multiple languages. The work, attributed to Jules Verne but actually written by his son Michel Verne, and published in 1907 under the original title L’agence Thompson and Co, narrates the path of a steamboat voyage through the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. The customs, landscapes, fauna, and flora of these regions are perfectly recounted, and sprinkled with plenty of moments and surprises that will make you fall in love all over again.
An international Canary Islander: Alberto Vázquez-Figueroa
Like Jules Verne, Vásquez-Figueroa, one of the most internationally well-known Spanish writers, is famous for his adventure stories. With more than 100 published books to his name, and translated into practically every language, he has millions of readers all over the planet. Among his numerous works, one that most reflects his Tenerifan origins and that you can easily find translated in almost any language, is Garoé (2010). Set on the island of El Hierro, the plot revolves around orquilla, a native lichen from which they used to extract a scarlet dye much sought-after by merchants, and a tale of love and betrayals that will have you on the edge of your seat until the final page. Its magnificent descriptions of the landscapes of El Hierro and its people will transport you to this fascinating island and make a visit imperative if you haven’t already been there.
The scene of a crime
Did you know that Miss Marple also solved a mystery, with her habitual perspicacity and insight into human foibles, on the Canary Islands? It’s true, and that’s why we can’t conclude this little vignette of books without mentioning one of the most popular writers of all time: Agatha Christie. A great lover of the archipelago, Christie spent long periods of time in Puerto de la Cruz in her later years. She dedicated a story to the Islands called “The Companion”, which appears in her collection of short stories, The Thirteen Problems. The tale’s protagonists, in addition to the older lady and the charming Miss Marple, are a doctor and a colonel who live on the archipelago. They are woven into the typical plot of mystery and crime that the British author loved so much and designed so well. In one moment, the colonel refers to Tenerife, saying, “The view of the Tiede illuminated by the setting sun is very beautiful,” something with which you, lucky beneficiary of the impressive surroundings of our luxury homes in Tenerife, must surely be in agreement.
You’re not the only one who’s allowed herself to be seduced by the magical landscapes of the Fortunate Isles. World-famous artists from all places and times have too. So surrender yourself to them. The sun, the ocean breeze, and the fantastic coasts of the Canary Islands archipelago have been the setting for romantic tales, magical revelations, and intrigue. So choose your book and enjoy the peace of an afternoon of reading that the serene setting of our luxury homes in Tenerife can offer.