Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Poet's Wife by Rebecca Stonehill

An unforgettable journey into the heart of one family torn apart by war. 

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. 


The Poet’s Wife is an extraordinary novel about a family struggling to go on with their daily lives during the Spanish Civil War. The tale unfolds through the lush narrative of three different women from the same family. First, there is Luisa, the poet’s wife, the matriarch of the family who befriends a group of gypsies. Her daughter, Isabel, young, independent, becomes a nurse on the front lines. It is there she discovers her talent for sitting with the dying, and helping them pass on with dignity and kindness. Lastly, there is Paloma who makes an appearance after the war has ended.

This is a compelling, beautifully rendered tale of the complexities of the Spanish civil war as told through the point of view of the civilians who suffered through it. The plight of the gypsies and the many cruelties leveled against them was compassionately brought forward. All in all, this was an excellent novel, a true learning experience steeped in historical fact, yet with a wonderful storyline. A book definitely worth reading.

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