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The Poet's Wife by Rebecca Stonehill


Family sagas sometimes leave me feeling bitter sweet but it is combined with such pleasant weariness that I keep devouring more.

The Poet’s Wife brings us to the world of Granada, Spain in the 1920s and onwards to the heart of Fidel Castro’s regime where a family villa, Carmen de las Estrellas, and its residents bore the earlier happy days of freedom and later on the ravages of civil war. It seemed quite a minuscule spot, spanning almost fifty years, in that period of Spanish history but a minuscule window worth peeping into. I am not certain I have read much books related to this turbulent time in Spain for most books easily found around bear stories of the Nazi regime so this is a novel read for me.

From mother to daughter to granddaughter; three generations of women giving voice to their own views and experiences amidst the turmoil. Every chapter is emotional; in the beginning palpable and tentative till you reach the middle and from thereon it becomes a tumble, waves upon waves, of dramatic turns.

Luisa and Eduardo, the matriarch and patriarch of the family, perhaps are the most enduring characters in part to the longevity of their presence and the roles they played to keep the family together. However, I find Isabel’s story the most riveting for me and I could say the one who’s character development took a much higher arc than the rest. All women in the book have an admirable courage and strength but Isabel’s journey distinguished her full potential. Paloma’s way of entrance to the story is a bit rough and seemed out of the flow but gradually settled into rhythm.

Rebecca Stonehill delivered a powerful debut novel for certain filled with unforgettable people leaving readers in poignant and piercing high.

Summary

Granada, 1920. Free-spirited Luisa and young poet Eduardo fall in love, cementing a bond that can never be broken.

Behind the jasmine filled courtyard, perched amongst houses like clouds on a hilltop, stands a beautiful villa; Carmen de las Estrellas. Beneath its walls live Eduardo and Luisa with their thriving family, but war is looming, casting its shadow over the household.

When Civil War finally breaks out, Luisa and Eduardo must fiercely protect those dear to them. Yet these are turbulent times, and as each of their children begin to make their way in the world, the solace of home cannot shield them from the horrors of war.

The Poet’s Wife is an extraordinary piece of storytelling spanning over fifty years – a heart- wrenching novel of a family devastated by war but bound together by love, loss and hope, told through the eyes of three remarkable women.
Title: The Poet's Wife
Author: Rebecca Stonehill
Genre: Historical
Published: September 2014
Publisher: Bookouture
Rating: ♨♨♨♨ ( 4 cups - Heart-wrenching and unforgettable, the book lingers even as you turn the last page.)

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