Michael Jacobs is far from the normal writer of new life books. Born in Italy he has a doctorate in art history and has written and translated many high-brow books.
Factory of light is not a particularly easy read, at times he’s very wordy but get past his dry style and the tale he’s sharing is a wonderful insight into rural Spanish village life.
Based in the village of Frailes in Andalucia this book tells the story of a chance encounter with the village that adopted Jacobs, and where he himself found his "spiritual roots".
He literally falls in love with the village, the lifestyle, the heritage and the people. This invokes an envy of the generations of people who have lived their whole lives in the village and awakes a growing longing to put down some roots of his own.
Arriving for a working holiday he is soon accepted by the local people, sharing in their fiestas, their homes and their traditions. Always inquiring and eager to learn more about these villagers, his short term stay becomes the start of many visits which becomes a long-term affair.
During his time with the villagers he discovers a “marie celeste” theatre as pristine as the day the last film was shown decades before. The village dream of a re-opening - a first night with a celebrity and set about putting their vision into action.
It’s a book that I could put down but also compelled me to finish it, a satisfying read, a unique interesting tale. For me even more so as it's an area I know, and a situation I can associate with.
The holiday home that starts his adventures does exist or my own holiday home not too many miles from Frailes could be the start of your adventure to explore this beautiful area of Spain in person not just a book.
Michael Jacobs wrote the afterword in