Family sagas with a strong historical background are one of my favourite genres. This one ticked all the boxes. Another huge favourite is strong women and this story throws up strong women in every generation the book covered. The autocratic and dictatorial type of rule under Franco in Spain was a period of history unknown to me, so I found this very informative.
Luisa and Eduardo fall in love. He is a poet and she is a free spirited young girl, ahead of her time and knows her mind. They marry and have a beautiful family. In the 1920s Spain is torn apart by civil war.and one has to be very careful even of one's neighbours, friends and relatives because the cost of a loose word here or there could be the cost of a life.
The light hearted family background for the children ends and the family along with a family of gypsies that Luisa has befriended start the 50 year journey of their lives, just trying to survive. As each child strives for independence at a time when independence for women is particularly forbidden Isabel and following her the other children leave the nest and Luisa and Eduardo try to protect the ones left behind.
The story of Isabel and then Isabel and Henry's daughter Paloma follow. Each episode is very beautifully told. It is an emotional and tense time for families in Spain, and for close knit families trying to keep the bonds close it is particularly difficult.
As usual in times of Civil War the stories of survival both physically and mentally are the stories that are wonderful to read about and this family saga is no exception.
The book was received by me from Netgalley courtesy of Bookouture