Surrounded by forest and reached only by a treacherous road, the sleepy South American town of Valle de la Virgen is almost unknown to the outside world. But after a silent stranger rolls in on the back of a pick-up truck, nothing is the same again.
Life for the town's inhabitants has not turned out as they once dreamed. Doña Nicanora never did escape the swamp town and travel the world, Don Bosco did not marry the woman he loved, and the mayor is yet to achieve the power and influence he craves. But it is not until the arrival of the mysterious foreigner, known only as Gringito, that their dreams start to be reawakened. Yet every dream must come at a price and the inhabitants of this sleepy little town are about to get more than they bargained for.
Intriguing and intoxicating, with a host of unforgettable characters in a magical setting, Doña Nicanora's Hat Shop is a remarkable novel that dares us to follow our dreams.
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I absolutely loved it - the sense of place was so strong, the characters so delicious and the sense of fun perfect for countering these gloomy times. I hope it does really well... It took me back to the pleasure I had reading Love in the Time of Cholera. - Mavis Cheek
Comic delight ... A quirky, bewitching novel brimming with great characters. - Woman & Home
This is a charming, humorous and quirky tale about love, politics and the importance of holding on to your dreams. A delightful debut that will beguile fans of Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Chocolat. - Waterstone’s Book Quarterly
Plenty of charm in this effervescently sweet novel - perfect for reading in the bath. - Metro
A colourful and uplifting debut - Daily Express
About the Author
Kirstan Hawkins studied anthropology at Edinburgh University and has travelled extensively in her work in Africa, Latin America and Asia. She carried out fieldwork for her degree among the Ashaninka Indians of the Peruvian Amazon, and for her Ph.D. she spent time in the altiplano of Bolivia.