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It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home.But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to d It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home.But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to do what they can; in Spain, Rosita García Díaz, fiercely loyal to her family and country, cannot stand by and watch. Three brave women, inspired by patriotism, idealism, love and even revenge, dare to go into battle against tradition and oppression.Tying them all together is Jo, Libby’s granddaughter. Five decades later she travels to Spain hoping to make sense of a troubling letter hidden among her grandmother’s possessions. What she learns will change all of their lives forever.Deceit, heartbreak and a longstanding fear of reprisals must all be overcome if the deeds of the forgotten women are to be properly honoured.


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It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home.But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to d It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home.But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to do what they can; in Spain, Rosita García Díaz, fiercely loyal to her family and country, cannot stand by and watch. Three brave women, inspired by patriotism, idealism, love and even revenge, dare to go into battle against tradition and oppression.Tying them all together is Jo, Libby’s granddaughter. Five decades later she travels to Spain hoping to make sense of a troubling letter hidden among her grandmother’s possessions. What she learns will change all of their lives forever.Deceit, heartbreak and a longstanding fear of reprisals must all be overcome if the deeds of the forgotten women are to be properly honoured.

30 review for Forgotten Women

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    3.5* My first book by this author and although I enjoyed it, some things did grate with me slightly. It's set during the Spanish Civil War and the present time and although I enjoyed the time set during the war - the story flowed well with excellent descriptions and sense of time and place, I felt that the present time scenes were, in the main, rather unnecessary and I found Jo quite irritating and a little spineless at times. I would rather the story had been constructed so that it was set wholl 3.5* My first book by this author and although I enjoyed it, some things did grate with me slightly. It's set during the Spanish Civil War and the present time and although I enjoyed the time set during the war - the story flowed well with excellent descriptions and sense of time and place, I felt that the present time scenes were, in the main, rather unnecessary and I found Jo quite irritating and a little spineless at times. I would rather the story had been constructed so that it was set wholly in the past. Also, I found the dialect a little distracting. The main characters were initially from Scotland and yet only one or two (the servants) spoke with a broad Scottish dialect, the others (of the 'upper classes') didn't which I found a bit odd - surely it should be all or nothing? An enjoyable book on the whole with an interesting look into the effects on ordinary people of the political divisions of the time. Well worth a read, despite my small niggles.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I was recently visiting Glasgow, Scotland when I stumbled upon a monument dedicated to the Scottish men and women that had gone to Spain in the 1930's to fight against fascism. This left me somewhat intrigued as I was totally unaware of that particular historical story. It left me wanting to know more and I was very pleased to stumble across this book. Forgotten Women is presented to us through the eyes of three women, Scottish friends Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, and one Spanish woman, R I was recently visiting Glasgow, Scotland when I stumbled upon a monument dedicated to the Scottish men and women that had gone to Spain in the 1930's to fight against fascism. This left me somewhat intrigued as I was totally unaware of that particular historical story. It left me wanting to know more and I was very pleased to stumble across this book. Forgotten Women is presented to us through the eyes of three women, Scottish friends Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, and one Spanish woman, Rosita Garcia Diaz. Each separate story shows the complexity of familial and societal expectations, political and social hardships, and above all, the courageous spirit of the people that lived in this tumultuous decade. Their story is recounted in the year 1986, to Jo, the young granddaughter of Libby, who is trying to piece together the relationships and secrets that these women have kept secured for five decades. The multiple storylines at times, made me weary, but it was Rosita's storyline that made her my favorite character in the story. Freda Lightfoot managed to convey the right amount of emotions as Rosita relates, the arrests of her father and brother, and the ultimate betrayal of her husband. What a villain, he turned out to be! From a historical standpoint, I felt that this book was a good introduction to the subject, but felt that FL distracted me with endless bed hopping and illegitimate babies. It made me grit my teeth a few times because I desperately wanted to hear more about Scottish involvement in Spain. Of course, this probably is a case of reader expectations being too high. Thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Polly Krize

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to love this book, but ended up only barely liking it. Set in present day Scotland and the Spanish Civil War, I found most of the characters not likable and could not identify with most of them. A light read, a tad melodramatic, just not my cup of tea. Only my opinion.

  4. 5 out of 5

    KarenK

    I received ARC from netgalley.com. Set in 1986, Jo seeks to learn about a painting done during the Spanish Civil War in 1937 by her grandmother's friend. But the story is really about the devestation of war and how the women lived and coped. A bittersweet story, the good with the bad. Solid 3 stars out of 5. I received ARC from netgalley.com. Set in 1986, Jo seeks to learn about a painting done during the Spanish Civil War in 1937 by her grandmother's friend. But the story is really about the devestation of war and how the women lived and coped. A bittersweet story, the good with the bad. Solid 3 stars out of 5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Furniss

    Forgotten Women is set in modern day Scotland but switches between now and Spain 1936 and the start of the Civil War. Men are enlisting all over Europe to help with the war efforts but not all women are happy to be left behind. This story follows three young ladies who actively strive to help and their complex families, friendships, husbands and lovers. The women may be of different social standing but are all bound by circumstance. But what threads the tale together is five decades later one of t Forgotten Women is set in modern day Scotland but switches between now and Spain 1936 and the start of the Civil War. Men are enlisting all over Europe to help with the war efforts but not all women are happy to be left behind. This story follows three young ladies who actively strive to help and their complex families, friendships, husbands and lovers. The women may be of different social standing but are all bound by circumstance. But what threads the tale together is five decades later one of the ladies paintings of the war is exhibited by her Granddaughter in the gallery and its is scrutinised by a Spanish gentlemen who abruptly questions it's authenticity. Libby not one to back down from a professional challenge and quite irked by the gentleman's aggressive accusations plus the discovery of a mysterious letter at the back of the painting takes it upon herself to travel to Spain to find out the answers. Libby's Grandma is apprehensive and nervous that she is doing so and so an emotional webbed tale of hate, love, sexuality, deceit, reprisals, adversity, concern, jealousy, oppression and freedom topped off with a earth shattering secret is unravelled, a secret that has bound these ladies friendship in silence all these decades. An enjoyable but harrowing dual shift tale. The suspense built well as time and time again I sympathised or got frustrated with characters and eagerly read on hoping their situations would change or they would see sense. I liked how the friendships were cast and the ending fitted the story well. I am now looking forward to back tracking and reading more of this authors work. My thanks go out to the publishers, author and Net Galley in providing me with an arc of this book is return for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Almira

    Set, mainly in Spain 1936, although there are "flashbacks" to Britain at the same time frame. If you are of an age, the name Franco will bring memories of "horror" regarding his reign as "dictator" of Spain, spanning the years from 1939 until his death in 1975. Before WWII, Spain is on the brink of revolution, and young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to fight along side those fighting against fascism, however, many young women also leave their homelands to join the volunteer medic Set, mainly in Spain 1936, although there are "flashbacks" to Britain at the same time frame. If you are of an age, the name Franco will bring memories of "horror" regarding his reign as "dictator" of Spain, spanning the years from 1939 until his death in 1975. Before WWII, Spain is on the brink of revolution, and young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to fight along side those fighting against fascism, however, many young women also leave their homelands to join the volunteer medical teams to help those injured from both sides. This is the story of 3 young women brought together by this terrible time in Spain's history - the story begins with letters being written from "prison" by an unnamed woman whose name has been called for the firing line. Part one 1996 Scotland, Jo has put together an art show in her local village, when one particularly interested art patron inquires as to the authenticity of a painting on display, as he believes this is a forgery of one owned by his family. And so starts the epic journey between modern day and the past. There is quite a bit of history in this story that will enlighten those interested in history, but who are not aware of what occurred in Spain during this time.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette

    I'm sure that I have read another novel by this talented author in the past and when I discovered 'Forgotten Women' on Netgalley, I couldn't resist. This is my honest review. This was an excellent story and one that will stay with me for a while. Loved the cover, which initially drew my attention. I know very little about the Spanish Civil War, so this novel was quite an eye opener. I rarely write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, but I do highly recommend. Now looking forwar I'm sure that I have read another novel by this talented author in the past and when I discovered 'Forgotten Women' on Netgalley, I couldn't resist. This is my honest review. This was an excellent story and one that will stay with me for a while. Loved the cover, which initially drew my attention. I know very little about the Spanish Civil War, so this novel was quite an eye opener. I rarely write what a story is about for fear of spoiling for others, but I do highly recommend. Now looking forward to reading more by this author.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    I thought the plot of this novel was quite interesting but felt the writing left something to be desired. The dialogue tended to be quite stilted and the narrative in places lengthy and unnecessary. I assume it was edited but they could have done a better job. It should have been exciting but quite boring in places. However, the writer has done her homework with regard to the historical aspects of the time period and that was very informative.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    The writing drove me crazy. And while I was hoping to learn more about Spain and Franco, it didn't quite cut it for me. The writing drove me crazy. And while I was hoping to learn more about Spain and Franco, it didn't quite cut it for me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Blay

    Wonderful As I now live in Spain it was lovely to read about things that went on in The Spanish Civil War. Brilliantly written and very informative.

  11. 5 out of 5

    booklover BEV

    Excellent read I thoroughly enjoyed this book. A good insight into the Spanish civil war. I learned a lot reading this about the women and those left behind in the villages .brilliantly written by the author that after half way through knew I would give it top five stars but it deserves a ten.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    I am interested in the Spanish Civil War, so I read this thinking it would be a good follow up to some of the others I have read (Guernica, for example). Unfortunately, this is light romance at its best, and was not the kind of book I enjoy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Where to begin... I forced myself to finish this book so I could give it a review and somehow, despite stilted dialogue, poor character development, and a storyline that went nowhere, I managed to finish it. Hooray for me. This was probably one of the worst books I've read in a while. I was searching for a historical fiction novel about the Spanish Civil War and the little known group of Scots that went south to assist the Spanish, and instead this book was about three young women who couldn't f Where to begin... I forced myself to finish this book so I could give it a review and somehow, despite stilted dialogue, poor character development, and a storyline that went nowhere, I managed to finish it. Hooray for me. This was probably one of the worst books I've read in a while. I was searching for a historical fiction novel about the Spanish Civil War and the little known group of Scots that went south to assist the Spanish, and instead this book was about three young women who couldn't find love, during the Spanish Civil War. The dialogue was poorly written. I kept thinking it would improve, but nope, it remained stilted and completely unbelievable. Don't even get me started on the accents. And speaking of unbelievable, the storyline would also fall under this category. Each woman was ridiculously unlucky in love to the extreme, yet they persisted and continued to pursue every man they possibly could. The number of times they went back and forth to Scotland without a passport, via car or train was legitimately impressive, considering there was supposedly a war going on and rumblings of WW2. Oh, and Jo was a complete idiot. Not sure how she got a job working in a museum and displaying a collection on the Spanish Civil War if she had to have Guernica and Picasso dumbed down and explained to her. And lastly, the character development was nil. The only characters that developed were the men who went from sweet and kind and marriage material to abusive and angry and violent. They almost all turned a complete 180 and I could have ignored that if it only happened once, but instead it happened multiple times. The ending had no closure (although I wasn't expecting it after slogging through so much insane drama) and I was just relieved to be finished. The title is appropriate though, because I'm going to try to forget about this awful book. This was the first book I've read from this author and it will most certainly be the last one I ever read. I had hoped for an interesting story about a little written on era and instead was treated to this disaster of a story. 1/5 stars.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Lara

    Forgotten Women by Freda Lightfoot is the story of the brave women of the International Brigade of the Spanish Civil War. It opens in Scotland, summer 1986, when an art gallery opens an exhibit featuring Spanish artist Ramón Peña Barros. Jo is the young curator when she is confronted with someone claiming that one of the paintings is a forgery. Anton Quintana Mendez has come to Scotland in the search of friends his grandmother knew during the Civil War and wants to see again before she dies. She Forgotten Women by Freda Lightfoot is the story of the brave women of the International Brigade of the Spanish Civil War. It opens in Scotland, summer 1986, when an art gallery opens an exhibit featuring Spanish artist Ramón Peña Barros. Jo is the young curator when she is confronted with someone claiming that one of the paintings is a forgery. Anton Quintana Mendez has come to Scotland in the search of friends his grandmother knew during the Civil War and wants to see again before she dies. She learns that her grandmother, Libby, was a Scottish member of the International Brigade and when she confronts her grandmother with Anton’s claim, Libby refuses to speak about it. Jo is intrigued about the painting and her grandmother’s connection to the Spanish Civil War that she joins Anton in Spain to see his grandmother, Rosita. As Rosita tells her story, Jo and Anton learn about the horrific beginnings of the Civil War, the International Brigade who fought against the rising power of General Francisco Franco and fascism in Spain. The prison conditions, the daily reading of names who were facing the firing squad, and the fight for freedom. Will Jo learn who the painter Barros was? Will she learn her grandmother’s role in the war? Will there be parts of herself, of her family that she will uncover? Forgotten Women is an interesting story about a part of history many do not learn about. The Spanish Civil War began July 17, 1936 and ended April 1, 1939 with General Franco in power of the Spanish government. The story was filled with suspense and little clues as to the identity of the artist Barros and the roles that these brave women accomplished during a turbulent time in Spanish history. The ending was surprising and enjoyable. I highly recommend Forgotten Women. Forgotten Women is available on Amazon in paperback and on the Kindle and at Barnes and Noble in paperback

  15. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I listened to this one on CD. First one I've "read" by Lightfoot (and probably last). It was really more a Harlequin romance than anything else. I love historical novels, of which this was advertised, but it covered very little of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. It had the potential to be a wonderful novel - the title reminded me of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly which was a WWII historical novel and AWESOME. But not so with these forgotten women. I have already forgotten them ! {= The mai I listened to this one on CD. First one I've "read" by Lightfoot (and probably last). It was really more a Harlequin romance than anything else. I love historical novels, of which this was advertised, but it covered very little of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. It had the potential to be a wonderful novel - the title reminded me of Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly which was a WWII historical novel and AWESOME. But not so with these forgotten women. I have already forgotten them ! {= The main characters joined the International Brigade to help the wounded men fighting the war. But they, the good and bad ones, were mostly concerned about their sex life. It was set in 2 time periods and I felt the present day time period was the most displeasing part of the novel - it really felt like it had no purpose but since that is in style with writers, I guess Lightfoot decided to go for it. I think I would have liked it better had it just been in the past and without all that sex !! The present day chapters were a bit strained and I had trouble following all the characters and their issues - which took away from the historical part. I skimmed through the last third b/c I'm not into romances and this one felt so scattered. I did not rate it b/c I skimmed so much of it. SOME of my dislike was definitely the HORRIBLE reader of the novel - that will definitely make or break whether you like a novel if you are listening to it instead of reading it. Her voice was like a strained sexy whisper the whole time except when she was reading Libby's cockney accent. Her male voice was also very irritating. The reader was Anne Flosnik.

  16. 4 out of 5

    J. Roslyn

    The Spanish Civil War was a bloody fight that lasted from 1936 to 1939, and was fought between the Republicans who favored democracy, and the Nationalists, self-described fascists led by General Franco. Although much has been written about the men who fought this war, including General Franco, who ruled until his death in 1975, very little has been written about the women who kept the fighters on both sides of the battle alive through their nursing and their farming. It is these forgotten women The Spanish Civil War was a bloody fight that lasted from 1936 to 1939, and was fought between the Republicans who favored democracy, and the Nationalists, self-described fascists led by General Franco. Although much has been written about the men who fought this war, including General Franco, who ruled until his death in 1975, very little has been written about the women who kept the fighters on both sides of the battle alive through their nursing and their farming. It is these forgotten women that Freda Lightfoot focuses on in her novel of the same title. In truth, the novel is centered on the stories of four forgotten women. Two of them, Charlie and Libby, left Scotland in 1937 to provide support in Spain. The third woman is Rosita, a Spanish Republican, who found herself in the middle of the war married to a brutal fascist. The fourth woman is Jo, Libby's Scottish granddaughter who, in 1986, inadvertently instigates the unraveling of fifty year old mysteries when she displays in her art gallery an old painting that she found in her grandmother's attic. Lightfoot tells their stories in pieces. Some of the pieces belong to the 1930s, and some belong to 1986. All of the pieces are connected to each other and are interwoven with mysteries, love affairs and stories of deceit, betrayal and murder. This is a book that was hard to put down. (I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    I received this book free of charge from NetGalley. Historical fiction is usually the best way for me to pay attention to history. Take a historical event and make it more real by putting characters I like into the story. That is not to say there weren't real characters I would care for in the real event. But since I wasn't there then, I don't know characters who were. In this case, I have to admit to not having a clue about the involvement of the British helping in Spain. Most of the history give I received this book free of charge from NetGalley. Historical fiction is usually the best way for me to pay attention to history. Take a historical event and make it more real by putting characters I like into the story. That is not to say there weren't real characters I would care for in the real event. But since I wasn't there then, I don't know characters who were. In this case, I have to admit to not having a clue about the involvement of the British helping in Spain. Most of the history given to US students in my day was about dates and famous men. Yawn. Maybe teachers should take note to Freda Lightfoot's method of letting us know about the women who helped all the people regardless of politics. My only problem was that I didn't care much for most of the characters until near the end. There wasn't a strong urge to see how the painting had anything to do with the rich lady or the crazy hormones floating around the young people who started out with only the desire to help. Still, there was enough story, or draw, that I kept reading. I remember! It was the feminist thread. It was nice to see that there were some who thought women could do anything that men could do. That women artist could paint as well as their male counterpart, etc. I just couldn't fall in love with the characters. Hopefully, other readers will like it more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Although the depiction of the historical setting was interesting, the portrayal of the characters and the dialog between them was lacking. The repeated using of "dear" in front of Charlotte's use of the word "mother" got extremely irritating and the repeated use of "beloved" (Nanny, Scotland, lovers, etc) made me wonder if this author knew any other adjectives. The same was true of Laurence using "old this and old that" as an endearment for his wife. Even if the marriage was based on deceptions Although the depiction of the historical setting was interesting, the portrayal of the characters and the dialog between them was lacking. The repeated using of "dear" in front of Charlotte's use of the word "mother" got extremely irritating and the repeated use of "beloved" (Nanny, Scotland, lovers, etc) made me wonder if this author knew any other adjectives. The same was true of Laurence using "old this and old that" as an endearment for his wife. Even if the marriage was based on deceptions on both sides, they were still trying to maintain to everyone else that they loved each other. And many of the women's rights insertions seemed to be put in after the story was written because they didn't always seem to fit where they were placed. There seem to be many stories of grandchildren wanting to find out what their relatives' experience with WWII and that time period in recent years and this one isn't one of the finest examples.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Bittersweet This is a story about a painting in a gallery found by Jo who found it in her grandmother’s attic. A mysterious man called Anton questions the legitimacy of the painting as he possesses what he says is the original. The owner of the gallery is quick to make it clear that any problems re the gallery bring sued would be placed with Jo. Jo is intrigued to investigate the history behind the painting which means following Anton to Spain. So Jo, with her relationship breakdown decides to m Bittersweet This is a story about a painting in a gallery found by Jo who found it in her grandmother’s attic. A mysterious man called Anton questions the legitimacy of the painting as he possesses what he says is the original. The owner of the gallery is quick to make it clear that any problems re the gallery bring sued would be placed with Jo. Jo is intrigued to investigate the history behind the painting which means following Anton to Spain. So Jo, with her relationship breakdown decides to make the trip. Is she prepared for the horrors she would discover? Now it dawns on Jo, why her grandmother Libby is reluctant to talk about it. What we discover is Rosita, Anton’s grandmother who is not very well and how the painting connects Libby and Rosita and their friend Charlotte and how a good deed of trying to help the disadvantaged in Spain going through the civil war nearly cost them all their lives.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Annett Jummrich

    The book tells two stories, 50 years apart, that are linked. The 1936 story tells of best friends Charlotte and Libby, who go to Spain during the Civil War to help the Spanish people fight the fascist regime of Franco. The 1986 story is about Libby's granddaughter Jo, who travels to Spain to uncover a part of her grandmother's history that wasn't supposed to come to light. I loved the 1936 story, esp. the character of Charlotte. An incredible woman. However, I couldn't really bring myself to car The book tells two stories, 50 years apart, that are linked. The 1936 story tells of best friends Charlotte and Libby, who go to Spain during the Civil War to help the Spanish people fight the fascist regime of Franco. The 1986 story is about Libby's granddaughter Jo, who travels to Spain to uncover a part of her grandmother's history that wasn't supposed to come to light. I loved the 1936 story, esp. the character of Charlotte. An incredible woman. However, I couldn't really bring myself to care for Libby. Same applies to her granddaughter Jo in the story arch half a century later. Both their behaviours was just annoying. Wanted to slap them a few times. I give the book 3.5 stars, mainly because of the 1936 story (you learn something about history without really being aware of it) and the character of Charlotte, which I really liked.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Lockhart

    Powerful and thought-provoking I chose this rating because it was such a tremendous story that touched my heart and mind very strongly. The author has created a mighty story how about a time that it's been largely forgotten or the public and show Lassie side of humanity that ugly. But at the same time we get to meet wonderful characters who I have survived in spite of the Terrible Things They have lived through. This is a story of struggle, fear, dedication to principles held high by most of us i Powerful and thought-provoking I chose this rating because it was such a tremendous story that touched my heart and mind very strongly. The author has created a mighty story how about a time that it's been largely forgotten or the public and show Lassie side of humanity that ugly. But at the same time we get to meet wonderful characters who I have survived in spite of the Terrible Things They have lived through. This is a story of struggle, fear, dedication to principles held high by most of us in the Free World, while at the same time it's a story of Hope. Man can suffer through almost anything if he has hope and this story is an excellent example of that. I recommend this story to anyone who loves a good story that is well written. You will be well rewarded.

  22. 5 out of 5

    naptimenow

    This was a quick and interesting read. The prose and dialogue could use quite a bit of tightening, and sometimes the switches between POV didn't feel natural, but the setting was interesting and there seemed to be a lot of details to it that I enjoyed. I don't know enough Spanish history to guess at the accuracy of the history, but I quite enjoyed the details of the painting and the intrigues both at home and in Spain. The author is also quite good at setting up story arcs where you aren't sure This was a quick and interesting read. The prose and dialogue could use quite a bit of tightening, and sometimes the switches between POV didn't feel natural, but the setting was interesting and there seemed to be a lot of details to it that I enjoyed. I don't know enough Spanish history to guess at the accuracy of the history, but I quite enjoyed the details of the painting and the intrigues both at home and in Spain. The author is also quite good at setting up story arcs where you aren't sure of the ending. In most similar style books I would normally guess the outcomes of each characters arc, but I was genuinely unsure who would or wouldn't survive.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This is the first book I've read set during the Spanish Civil War. Two Scottish young women, Charlotte and Libby, go to Spain to work as nurses with the International Brigade. They become involved with Rosita, a young Spanish woman. The book goes back and forth between the time of the Civil War and 50 years later when Libby's granddaughter tries to solve the mystery of a small oil painting she finds in her Libby's attic. On the back of the painting is a letter written from a Spanish prison by a This is the first book I've read set during the Spanish Civil War. Two Scottish young women, Charlotte and Libby, go to Spain to work as nurses with the International Brigade. They become involved with Rosita, a young Spanish woman. The book goes back and forth between the time of the Civil War and 50 years later when Libby's granddaughter tries to solve the mystery of a small oil painting she finds in her Libby's attic. On the back of the painting is a letter written from a Spanish prison by a woman moments before she's led away to the firing squad. I found the characters of the women well portrayed as well as that of the men in their lives. I can't say I saw the ed coming but I liked it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melba Hard

    Women at war. I have read several books set during the Spanish civil war, this one tels it from the women's aspect, both Scottish and Spanish and though it does cover some of the more horrible moments does not portray the horror of being caught up in the action.. There is also more to the story as a grand daughter tries to find out about her grandmothers story during these troubled times which you need to read right to the end to discover. A tale of brave women (and men) and a mystery that keeps yo Women at war. I have read several books set during the Spanish civil war, this one tels it from the women's aspect, both Scottish and Spanish and though it does cover some of the more horrible moments does not portray the horror of being caught up in the action.. There is also more to the story as a grand daughter tries to find out about her grandmothers story during these troubled times which you need to read right to the end to discover. A tale of brave women (and men) and a mystery that keeps you guessing right to the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Barrett

    Five stars Very fascinating book. It is so easy to overlook how fortunate the women of the United States and other democratic countries are. Getting a glimpse of the complete lack of rights the women of Spain suffered on top of the horrors of war was heart wrenching. The prison scenes were graphically described and brought me to tears several times. This is a book that deals in trust and relationships between three women who's lives were intertwined during the Spanish Civil War. It was well resea Five stars Very fascinating book. It is so easy to overlook how fortunate the women of the United States and other democratic countries are. Getting a glimpse of the complete lack of rights the women of Spain suffered on top of the horrors of war was heart wrenching. The prison scenes were graphically described and brought me to tears several times. This is a book that deals in trust and relationships between three women who's lives were intertwined during the Spanish Civil War. It was well researched, well written and well edited. First rate !

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    *Goodreads First Reads** I really enjoyed the overall plot of the book although I found the present day portion of the story a little unnecessary. (view spoiler)[ I think I would have enjoyed this more had the entire story been constructed to take place in the 30's with a flash forward to the friends reuniting to end it. (hide spoiler)] I struggled a bit with the dialogue. It felt forced and unnatural. Again, I did enjoy the book but I think it could have been fine tuned a little more. *Goodreads First Reads** I really enjoyed the overall plot of the book although I found the present day portion of the story a little unnecessary. (view spoiler)[ I think I would have enjoyed this more had the entire story been constructed to take place in the 30's with a flash forward to the friends reuniting to end it. (hide spoiler)] I struggled a bit with the dialogue. It felt forced and unnatural. Again, I did enjoy the book but I think it could have been fine tuned a little more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jeanette Duffey

    Enjoyable The story line has optional but I found the 'speech' of the characters totally ridiculous. The Scottish accent read ridiculously. I can see that the accent was to be read as written, hereby giving the dialogue required. However, between the Scots and the moneyed characters, with their 'old chap' ectra, I found the characters very wooden and untrue. Which was a shame, as it could have been so much more believable. Enjoyable The story line has optional but I found the 'speech' of the characters totally ridiculous. The Scottish accent read ridiculously. I can see that the accent was to be read as written, hereby giving the dialogue required. However, between the Scots and the moneyed characters, with their 'old chap' ectra, I found the characters very wooden and untrue. Which was a shame, as it could have been so much more believable.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathrine McAlpine

    Historical novel I chose this book as I love history, particularly women's history and it does not disappoint on that level. I found the language a little flowery, it seemed to go from old fashioned words to very modern ones like ongoing. It is undoubtedly well researched but some details could have been left out as it read like a school primer at times. However the characters were well developed and as the reader I felt compelled to find out their fate. Historical novel I chose this book as I love history, particularly women's history and it does not disappoint on that level. I found the language a little flowery, it seemed to go from old fashioned words to very modern ones like ongoing. It is undoubtedly well researched but some details could have been left out as it read like a school primer at times. However the characters were well developed and as the reader I felt compelled to find out their fate.

  29. 4 out of 5

    lou yuen

    Captivating and heartfelt This is one of the best books i have read. It is so well written . You can put faces to the characters , you feel their fear and happiness and can picture the olive house so clearly. The historic aspect was really interesting and gave a flavour of the sadness, loss and the hardship of war. With a few love stories thrown in and a lovely ending. Out of the ordinary

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jan Bates

    Lovely book I really enjoyed this book, partly because it is set during the Spanish Civil War and partly because it was an enjoyable story. All the characters were believable and each had their own side story. A good social history read too; for a novel. All in all I enjoyed it very much and would reccommend to anyone that likes a historical story. I cannot think of anything negative to say about this book! If you see it, buy it and enjoy a good read!

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