Travel to Córdoba, Spain With Joanna Glen’s Novel “All My Mothers”

by | Mar 4, 2021

evening view of Cordobe Spain
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Last updated on May 5th, 2024

Featured image: Cordoba, Spain by Envato Elements

Travel by book to Córdoba, Spain

By Carolyn Ray, Editor, JourneyWoman  

Our February 2021 Book of the Month is “All My Mothers” by Joanna Glen. Set in London and Córdoba, Spain, it is an uplifting and perceptive novel that explores the themes of motherhood and loss.  I felt so connected to the characters, and to this beautiful city, where author Joanna Glen lived and went to school. Much of the book is written from her personal experiences, as she shares in our video interview below. 

Although I’ve only spent a few days in Córdoba in 2015, it lingers in my memory. Located in Andalusia, Spain, near Seville and Malaga, it grew to be the second-largest city in Europe by the 10th century. Like much of Spain, this area was settled and ruled by the Phoenicians, Visigoths, Romans, and Muslims. In the eighth century, it was taken over by Muslim conquests and became the capital of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba.

Córdoba has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than anywhere in the world, including the Alcázar, the Roman bridge and the Mezquita-Catedral (Great Mosque of Córdoba), which is now a cathedral. Built from 784- 786 AD by Abd al-Rahman, the Mezquita is one of the most famous monuments of Western Islamic (Moorish) architecture, combining aspects of Islamic architecture with some indigenous elements of Roman and Visigothic architecture.  After the Christian conquest of the city the mosque was converted to a cathedral, but much of the original structure remains, making it one of the most astonishing sights I have ever seen The UNESCO status has since been expanded to encompass the whole historic centre of Córdoba, Medina-Azahara and Festival de los Patios.. (Source: Wikipedia)

About “All My Mothers” set in Córdoba, Spain

Eva is growing up with parents, with whom she just doesn’t seem to bond – Dad is Spanish from Andalucía and Mum is a fragile, reclusive woman who has no motherly warmth. They simply don’t feel like her tribe and when she discovers a photo of herself as a child, with the head of the female caregiver removed, she decides that she really needs to understand more about her heritage. Dad then abandons his little family and returns to his home country of Spain, leaving the two females floundering. 

She is driven to study in Córdoba, where she somehow feels she belongs. Her father, she knows, is in the vicinity and there is a good chance she might bump into him, of course. And it is there that she starts her search for her childhood history. It is a convoluted path to uncovering the secrets that have permeated her life and consciousness, a preoccupation that consumes her.


Watch our interview with Joanna Glen

Joanna Glen read Spanish at the University of London, and lost her heart to Andalusia whilst studying at the Faculty of Arts in Córdoba. She went on to become a teacher of English and Spanish, and a school principal. Joanna’s debut novel, The Other Half of Augusta Hope, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award.

In this interview, Joanna and Carolyn talk about why she wrote the book, what she learned and motherhood. She also shares her first-hand tips on Cordoba.


As the CEO and Editor of JourneyWoman, Carolyn is a passionate advocate for women's travel and living the life of your dreams. She leads JourneyWoman's team of writers and chairs the JourneyWoman Women's Advisory Council and Women's Speaker's Bureau. She has been featured in the New York Times, Toronto Star and Zoomer as a solo travel expert, and speaks at women's travel conferences around the world. In March 2023, she was named one of the most influential women in travel by TravelPulse and was the recipient of a SATW travel writing award in September 2023. She is the chair of the Canadian chapter of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW), a member Women's Travel Leaders and a Herald for the Transformational Travel Council (TTC). Sometimes she sleeps. A bit.

1 Comment

  1. Helga

    Searching to find the book. I,ll check with Amazon.


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