Dulcinea tells the story of Dolça, the fictional muse behind Don Quixote—a must-read for fans of Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks and The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd.
The daughter of a wealthy Barcelona merchant, young Dolça Llull Prat is besotted with the dashing, bootstrapping Miguel Cervantes from their first meeting. Despite Miguel’s entreaties, the ever-practical Dolça, with her love of luxury and her devotion to her own art, repeatedly refuses to upend her life for him, although she always welcomes his attentions on her own terms. When Miguel renders her as the lowly Dulcinea in his great Quixote, revealing their association, he commits an unforgivable offense and their decades-long affinity is severed—until he reaches out to her one last time.
The roads of Spain are no place for a noblewoman seeking to reunite with her former lover, but Dolça needs to unburden herself of a secret. Disguised as a peasant and accompanied by her trusted nursemaid, Dolça makes the difficult trek, facing bandits, the menacing reach of the Inquisition, and her own misgivings. Will she arrive in time? And if she does, will she be able to tell Miguel what she has concealed from him for so many years?
A richly imagined heroine, Dolça leaps from these pages as a woman of flesh and blood, one committed to both duty and desire. Dulcinea explores the choices we make in life, the regrets we harbor, and the courage we find to make amends.
Praise for Dulcinea
“This is a beautiful book about art and love, and the passions that ignite them both.” - Sarah Blake, award-winning author of Naamah and Clean Air
“Dulcinea is full of fervor and adventure, and Ana Veciana-Suarez writes with assurance and an eye for detail. The feminist reimagining we’ve always needed!” - Gabriela Garcia, New York Times bestselling author of Of Women and Salt
“Dulcinea is a marvel—richly imagined, luminously written, and deftly textured. With meticulous attention to detail and a cast of characters flawed, fascinating, and indelible, Ana Veciana-Suarez recreates a lost world and invites us in.” - Leonard Pitts, Pulitzer Prize–winning commentator and author of The Last Thing You Surrender
“Dulcinea is a brilliant approach to Don Quixote from the point of view of ‘the other woman.’ Ana Veciana-Suarez reimagines the world of Cervantes and the streets of old Barcelona through conflicts that are contemporary to us. The pages fly by. The reader is in the hands of a woman in search of her truth. A love story without parallels.” - Armando Lucas Correa, author of the international bestsellers The German Girl and The Night Travelers
“An exquisite brocade of history and imagination, Dulcinea tells the story of Cervantes’s fictional muse, Dolca Llull Prat. Set in Spain during the height of the Inquisition, Dulcinea weaves a captivating tale of passion, betrayal, and adventure. Readers will be enthralled by Ana Veciana-Suarez’s fresh feminist perspective on the classic hero’s journey. A must-read.” - Diana Abu-Jaber, award-winning author of Fencing with the King
“In Dulcinea, Ana Veciana-Suarez takes the reader on a journey of all the passionate and oftentimes contradictory emotions that comprise a life. Heartfelt and moving, this book pulses with the same lively energy as its memorable heroine.”- Katherine J. Chen, author of Joan
“Ana Veciana-Suarez’s Dulcinea, an impressive historical novel, imaginatively answers the question: Who was Cervantes’ muse? With potently lyrical prose, rich historical detail, and a cast of compelling characters, readers will be utterly transported to a time in Spanish history that is contradictory, complex, and surprisingly similar to the modern world.” - Chantel Acevedo, author of The Living Infinite and The Distant Marvels
“Love can defy class and rank…affinities can defy law and logic…and a woman can define her own fate. Set in enchanting Barcelona and on the treacherous Spanish roads during the dark days of the Inquisition, Ana Veciana-Suarez’s gripping novel Dulcinea is a journey, a quest, and a bold, passionate love story. Told through the eyes of a woman who might have been Cervantes’s secret lover—a cousin Dulcinea, for whom he names his own hero’s muse—Dulcinea is a bold work of revelatory imagination filled with secrets, trysts, love, loyalty, deceptions, and passion. It is the perfect twenty-first century companion to Don Quixote.”- Laurie Lico Albanese, award-winning author of Hester
“A treat for aficionados of Catalonia and Spain, Dulcinea transports the reader with lush language and exquisite historical detail in a spirited tale of love, betrayal, and remorse. Readers will delight in seeing Dulcinea liberated from her previous minor role in one of literature’s most influential novels, allowed to lead her own rollicking adventure and tell her own passionate story.” - Andromeda Romano-Lax, author of The Spanish Bow