Forgotten Women by Freda Lightfoot
Genre: Historical Romance / Women's Fiction
This was a Netgalley copy gifted to me by Publisher Lake Union Publishing
Set both in the modern day Scotland and during the facist Civil War in Spain. This is the tale of three young women and their menfolk, husbands, lovers and brothers.
A young gallery worker Jo has persuaded her private Grandma to let her display a painting depicting the Spanish Civil War and a chance meeting with a Spaniard who questions the origins and authenticity of the piece sets her on a journey into Spain , the past and a chance for love herself.
A rich story interweaving the lives of Rosita a young girl tricked into marriage to a vile facist masogynist when they start taking dissenters from their homes, Charlotte a lady seeking independence from a tyrannical step Father who happens to be Laird and Jo's own grandmother Libby who has got herself into a bit of a pickle over the bad choice of bedmate. They meet and bond over the horrors of armed conflict and none are untouched, each scarred by what they experience and culminating in sharing in a act that means their silence for decades and a shared secret that resonates into the modern day revealing secrets they had sworn never to reveal.
There is a cast of male characters too who serve as romantic foils and complications, but the central females are the focus here and their romances and heartbreaks are well realised and ring true within the confines of the plot set in a time of such upheaval in Spain which serves as an ominous pre-cursor to the later perils of the Second World War.
A well paced and easily relatable tale of strength in adversity. This was my first book by Freda Lightfoof, but probably not my last. The cover artwork is beautifully evocative and perfectly fits the story.