This is a must-read for historical fiction fans
A historical family saga spanning four generations, from 1912, Kent, England, to Spain and its 1936-39 civil war.
Celia and Ernesto's two sons march under opposing banners, whilst their daughters take different paths, one to the Catholic Church and the other to the battlefields, and in the shadow of war, an evil ghost from the past watches and waits for an opportunity to destroy the entire family. In exile, Celia and Ernesto can only wait and pray for their children and their safe return home.. Also by Jana Petken
The Guardian of Secrets
The Mercy Carver Series:
Dark Shadows - Book 1
Blood Moon - Book 2
The Errant Flock Review
"Debut novelist Jana Petken delivers a powerful family epic that chronicles the travails of a British woman and her family during the Spanish Civil War.Recently wedded, Celia Merrill Dobbs' initial expectations of marital bliss quickly dissolve in 1912, when her husband Joseph reveals he has married her only to inherit her wealthy father's prosperous farm in the English countryside. After Celia discovers that Joseph is her father's killer, she and their newborn son Peter escape to Spain.
In Spain, she lives with the Martinez family, aristocratic landholders in Valencia. Celia becomes enamored with widower Ernesto Martinez. They soon marry and raise their four children amid rising political tensions gripping the country.
Petken masterfully moves the gripping action along by creating credible characters and suspenseful plot twists. Writing in a straightforward manner and infusing scenes with details that inform but don't overwhelm, she portrays each of the characters' efforts to survive while coming to terms both with the horrors of wartime and personal bouts with excessive pride and passion.
Though the action is grounded in a particular time and place, the novel's concerns are universal, as typified when Celia's daughter ruminates on whether Spain would eventually "look back and feel proud of a war that had killed hundreds of thousands...or would it feel as she did now, betrayed by men with selfish political ambitions and lust for power."
Despite its length, the captivating story succeeds brilliantly and becomes an unforgettable page-turner.
This is a must-read for historical fiction fans." BlueInk Reviews
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