In this novel, the main characters are Emily and Mark, a middle-aged couple who had a good life in London but, after the husband lost his job, they found a way out by immigrating to Portugal. This is a story about how Portugal can improve people's lives.
The couple decide to move to Portugal to take advantage of the tax scheme and, after all the difficulties they face with the bureaucracy and the different procedures, they end up loving the country and enjoying this beautiful hidden gem.
The book, which was only released a few months ago, is aimed at a readership of middle-aged women. "It's a light read, it's a good beach read," said DCR Bond, the author of Emily's Algarve Escape, whose book is her second.
A fast-paced book with a lot of descriptions of Portugal based on the author’s own experience of this lovely country. “We are very fortunate to live here for a few years. I just wanted to explore some of the enjoyment that I experienced in Portugal”, she said.
According to her: “There is a uniqueness to Portugal. As soon as you drive here, as soon as you come across the border, you feel welcomed. It is a very vibrant country and a very welcoming country and I wanted to catch that on the page – how welcome you feel in Portugal and how it catches the main character”.
That’s why she doesn’t save in descriptions about the country. “My books are very fast-paced and they are classic page turner, but I like to write about the scenery and the atmosphere. The people who live here and have read the book say that you can almost smell Portugal”, she said.
However, the author doesn't write much about beaches, as you might expect. In fact, DCR Bond wanted to explore more of the places that make Portugal unique. That's why she describes places like Alfontes, a small village in Boliqueime where the author lived, and the market in Loulé. "That's the kind of aspect of Portugal I like to write about. I lived in a small village in Boliqueime, Alfontes. I don't describe the beaches much. When people think of Portugal, they think of staying in a five-star hotel. That's not what this book is about. It's about the real Portugal and the small things such as charming little market," she said.
“The people who live here and have read the book say that you can almost smell Portugal – it comes from the pages because I did live here”, she said.
Leaving a life of luxury to move to Portugal
In an interview, the author gave us a brief summary of the book. "The husband loses his job and his wife is used to him earning a lot of money. He thinks the solution to all his problems is to come to Portugal on the tax system and that's what he does. They were drifting apart. Everything goes wrong and then it goes right for them, as a consequence of having come to live in Portugal."
But it was not always easy. As the book aims to show the real life of those who come to Portugal, it reveals the difficulties in complying with the different rules they face in the country. "Inevitably, they get caught up in the rules here. They're not familiar with the rules here. They try to get residence certificates, which take them a long time”, she revealed.
This is also based on her experience. “In England, there are things we take for granted that we don't know how to do in Portugal. I went through some awkward situations trying to understand the rules and regulations in Portugal”, she said.
In this book, the author tackles very important issues that required a lot of research, such as the concepts of tax evasion and regulation, among others.
Awakening a child dream
DCR Bond used to write as a child but didn't pursue it as a career. When she grew up, she decided to study law and always had a classic office career. "Then I went back to doing what I wanted to do and that's what I'm doing now."
This long-held dream has already given rise to two books, Sara Needs Saving and, recently, Emily's Algarve Escape and a third is in the pipeline.
Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252