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Flirting in Spanish: What Mexico Taught Me about Love, Living and Forgiveness Paperback – July 1, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Antaeus Books, Inc. (July 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982859198
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982859193
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,475,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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I couldn't put this book down and pretty much read it in one setting. This is the story of a woman of privilege who falls in love with what would seem an unlikely partner -- a much younger Mexican man from an uneducated family living in a cramped house shared with chickens. Her young lover turns out to be a tender, caring and intelligent man who is determined to win her heart. This is a refreshing tale that makes us all realize that sometimes love can be found in the most unlikely places....if we just listen to our hearts and take a leap of faith, not matter how it may appear to anyone else. Bravo to Susan McKinney de Ortega for following her heart!
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This "lightweight sounding title" is misleading. This book is about far more than a June-December romance between an NBA coach's mature daughter and a teenage Mexican boy. It's about the reality of how many large extended families in Mexico live and relate to one another in crowded tiny houses and how an upper middle class woman faced adapting to her circumstances when she found love and safety with a very unlikely person. It's about real life with all the imperfections and disappointments, along with a glimpse into the heart of that magical town of San Miguel de Allende in the early 90"s. There is a raw quality that will confront the reader with the question . . . "what would I do for love?"
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Anybody who wants to "watch" the author's journey of discovering the heart and soul of Mexico, it's people and it's culture, should consider reading this book. It is not a sugar coated journey. There is poverty, despair, laughing, crying, happiness and holy molly moments. This book is an honest autobiography. More of chick book but guys could learn a thing or two perseverance, humility and handling adversity. Everybody should read this book.
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Format: Paperback
I have never used the word "riveting" to describe a book in any of my reviews. Mostly because I have never found any to be truly "riveting." That is, not until I had the pleasure of reading "Flirting in Spanish."

In the interest of full-disclosure, McKinney is a former colleague. We were reporters together at a Madison TV station in the 80s. But as a professional writer, I don't give my stamp of approval to a book just because I know the author. A book must be well-written and profound in some way. This book is profound on so many levels.

"Flirting in Spanish" is gripping and quick read, but it is not a "fluff" book like so many are today. This book will open your eyes, your heart, and even shake you to your core. You'll ask yourself how you define love, what you truly value in life, and if you are living a life of authenticity -- or just existing in a superficial world. McKinney takes the reader on her journey through hardship, adversity, and exploration to ultimately find the true meaning of life and love.

McKinney's journey is compelling and awe-inspiring. I find myself re-reading passages nearly every day since completing the book. It was so refreshing to read an honest, no-holds-barred, non-sugar coated memoir about "real life." But the book is far more than a personal memoir; it has life-lessons for anyone who reads it.
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Format: Paperback
At thirty-three, McKinney de Ortega runs from a life of affluence, fame, and tragedy to find herself in Mexico. She struggles to make ends meet while working odd jobs, and eventually becomes an English teacher at a high school.

There she meets Carlos, an extremely poor nineteen-year-old student, who captures her heart and brings her out of a deep pain she has hidden for years. Together, they find how love has no boundaries.

A story that transcends cultures, age, and economic stations, Flirting in Spanish is well worth the read.
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Format: Paperback
Review: Flirting In Spanish by Susan McKinney de Ortega
Title: Flirting In Spanish: What Mexico taught me about love, living and forgiveness
Author: Susan McKinney de Ortega
Publisher: Antaeus Books, Inc.
Publish Date: July 1, 2011
Source: I received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

You're a memoir lover.
You're a armchair traveler.
What's the Story?:

From Publishers Weekly: "Running from paralyzing memories of an attempted rape and the decade of silence and shame that followed, Ortega lands in Mexico at 33, trying not to fall for a much younger local. In 1992 the author, the daughter of champion NBA coach Jack McKinney, was teaching English to Mexican teenagers when she met 19-year-old Carlos, who ardently pursues her despite the age and huge cultural differences. She resists at first, due to their divergent backgrounds--Ortega's childhood was one of summer vacation rentals and white gloves at Mass, while Carlos was a high school dropout who didn't have running water until age 10. But when she realizes that she is surprised a man could be kind to her like her father, "I didn't feel like a nervous wreck of a person anymore." It's not an instant happy ending as Ortega contends with the extreme poverty Carlos and his family live in, the machismo culture, and her own lingering doubts, with one foot in Mexico and the other wavering. When she finally achieves hard-won contentment, it's a joyous moment."

My Two Cents:

I've had the opportunity to travel to Mexico quite bit so I was excited to read this book from the travel aspect. I most definitely was not disappointed in that aspect.
Read more ›
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