This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kate Appleton
Ruby Rae has just lost both her parents in a shocking and sudden accident. When she returns to Dorset, to clear out her childhood home, she discovers a box hidden in her parents’ wardrobe containing photos and trinkets which set alarm bells ringing. After a bit of detective work Ruby discovers that her parents kept a life-altering secret from her.
Meanwhile, back in Barcelona in 1939, Julia has been forced to enter the convent by her parents in a bid to protect her from the raging civil war. She is soon given the opportunity to work in a local maternity clinic, but suspicious adoption practices force Sister Julia to question those in power.
The novel has been written in the style of a triple narrative from the view points of: Ruby, her mother Vivian, and a nun, Sister Julia. The lives of these three women are effectively woven into each other culminating in a shocking denouement revealing hidden and unexpected truths. Although the chapters jump from the 1930’s to present day you’re never left confused as to where you are in the women’s respective journey. The women vary in importance, and although each have an interesting view point, I found myself drawn to the struggles of Sister Julia whose whole life is stretched across the pages.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the Spanish history lesson. Previous to reading, I had a little knowledge of Franco’s dictatorship however, I had never before heard about the Niños Robados and that particularly dark period within Spain. This was a shocking and unexpected theme and one which I will be investigating further as a result of reading this book.
It was also refreshing to read a chick lit novel that didn’t just focus on just the women of the story. We are also treated to an insight into the life of artist, Andrés. He is an extremely interesting character. At once estranged from his family, due to the relationship with his father, and trying to deal with his previously alien feelings of love, his journey was for me the most heartfelt.
Rosanna’s novel explores a sensitive subject in a unique and inspirational style, bringing to light a subject that for many children in Spain is still a harsh reality.
Rosanna Ley's Website