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Today on The Quiet Knitter I am so pleased to share a review of a book from Urbane Publications.  Today the book in the spotlight is Spanish Crossings by John Simmons.


Book Feature:

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Spanish Crossings is an epic tale of love, politics and conflict, with the yearning but elusive possibility of redemption. A woman’s life has been cast in shadow by her connection to the Spanish Civil War. We meet Lorna in Spain, 1937 as she falls in love with Harry, a member of the International Brigade who had been at Guernica when it was bombed. Harry is then killed in the fighting and Lorna fears she might have lost her best chance of happiness. Can she fill the void created by Harry’s death by helping the child refugees of the conflict? She finds a particular connection to one boy, Pepe, and as he grows up below the radar of the authorities in England their lives become increasingly intertwined. But can Lorna rely on Pepe as he remains deeply pulled towards the homeland and family that have been placed beyond his reach? Coming through the war, then the post-war rebuilding, Lorna and Pepe’s relationship will be tested by their tragic and emotive history.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

Spanish Crossings is the first book I’ve read by John Simmons and I can safely say that it won’t be the last.  Simmons has a natural gift when it comes to storytelling which makes his books a real treat to read.  The detail in this is wonderful, it’s clear that so much research has gone into the writing of this book, the story that has been written around the events of the Spanish Civil War is truly remarkable and deserves to be appreciated.

The death of Harry leaves Lorna devastated, their lives together cruelly cut short when he is killed fighting in Spain.  Although they had just met, Lorna feels bereft, he was her first love, albeit a brief one.
Life takes on a new meaning for Lorna when she ‘adopts’ a Spanish child evacuated to the safety of England from his homeland.  She finds hope in her friendship with Pepe, a focus for her grief.   However, Pepe misses home, and his love of Spain does not diminish with either the passing of time or the distance between him and his beloved homeland.

There is so much more to this book that just the plot, which I am loathe to say too much about.  There are subtleties in the writing that make the story to poignant and moving, the descriptive quality of the writing is spellbinding.  I could feel the tension and fear, I could smell the smokey aftermath of the doodlebug attack in London, the way that this was so detailed just elevated this to another level.  The characters are engaging and vividly interesting, and will stay with you after you’ve finished reading.  I admit to having little knowledge of the Spanish Civil war prior to reading this book, but felt compelled to read up on it and find out more after reading this book.

Historical fiction that stands out from the crowd!

You can buy a copy of Spanish Crossings via:

Amazon UK

 

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