Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city.
This book is a young adult historical fiction novel which shocks me because I thought it was adult, but it is done so good. The writing and story just flow. This is also told in different povs but I didn’t mind that, it all flowed beautifully together.
The story is of Ana and Daniel, they are in Spain but live different lives. Ana is the daughter of Republicans (reds) and her family struggles to get by and save up for a apartment. Daniel is the son of a wealthy Texas oil Family and never has to worry about anything.
When Franco allows tourist and oil companies in Spain Daniels family plans to stay the summer so his father can make a deal with Franco. What Daniel doesn’t expect is to meet Ana and unwrap the true ugly and beautiful history around Spain.
Daniel soon starts to question everything and digs into the past and uses his camera to tell the story.
This book was sad, beautiful, tragic, romantic, courageous and so many other feelings. These characters were brave and face fears most Americans never have to worry about. It made me great full for the life I have here in Texas where I can vote, speak my mind, apply for jobs, loans, and other stuff without having to have a husband or husbands permission.
I will say that the book has me researching shortly after I finished and I was so incredibly sad for the people of Spain and having to live under that cruelty and fear. The stolen babies broke my heart the most. Imagine growing that little human in you just for it to be stolen.
Overall I didn’t expect to love this one as much as I did. It was a beautifully retelling of life in Spain under Franco’s dictatorship. You got to see how it was living in constant fear for your life and family. This is one I will not get off my mind for a while.