Read date: February 12, 2018
A daughter of privilege excommunicates herself from her pious Catholic family after an unforeseen personal tragedy and allies herself with the Communist army in the Spanish Civil War. The book jacket introduces a charged narrative full of much potential, but the novel itself struggles to deliver. Told in split time periods– 1940s Spain vs. 2000s New England– the reader experiences Marian Taylor’s Spanish life firsthand and then also observes her description of the selfsame events as an elderly woman to her granddaughter Isabel. While Marian’s story itself is definitely one of interest, the reader learns precious little more about her history or character during her relaying of these tales to her granddaughter. The piece is repetitive with only a few convincing characters and is laden with disjointed interjections in the narrative, as though Gordon is hopeful that these offhand sentences will become profound quotes. An interesting story that, unfortunately, lacks in delivery.