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1935 Luis a charismatic Spaniard elopes with Elise and they move to a small village in Catalonia But little do they know that war will soon rip them apart Some twenty years later stifled by her life in England their daughter Madeleine sets off to learn the truth about her father's death in the French Resistance returning to the village she once called home Under the heat of the Catalan sun she soon finds herself confronting her past facing the shocking secrets of war and opening her heart to her own love story


10 thoughts on “Daughter of Catalonia

  1. says:

    Opening in November 1942 as Madeleine and her family make their way across the mountains escaping from Nazi occupied France Madeleine her brother Robert and their Mother Elise intend to return to Elise's English home whilst their father Luis will stay in Catalonia fighting the cause for freedomThe story moves forward twenty years Elise is dying having never recovered from the death of her beloved Luis the man she eloped with the father of her children the husband she never saw again after leaving him on that mountain pass in 1942 After Elise's death Madeleine is determined that she will escape from the stifling life she leads in her Grandparents house Her aloof Grandmother and her cold Grandfather were bitterly disappointed by their daughter's choice of husband and both Madeleine and Robert have suffered ever sinceAlmost on a whim Madeleine travels to France to Catalonia to the village of her early childhood She is determined to find out about her Father How did he die? Why did her Mother never speak about him?In France Madeleine discovers much than she bargained for uncovering secrets and lies that are both shocking and life changing but also discovering a love that could heal the pain that she inherited from her motherDaughter of Catalonia transports the reader to the small close knit communities in the Catalan region of France communities who are still scarred by the events of the War Communities that hold their secrets close but have long memoriesJane MacKenzie is a skilled author who magically brings the region to life There are some novels that make the reader want to visit the setting immediately and this one of them The small towns and villages the searing heat the dusty shop fronts the winding streets The village suares with their cafes and shops populated by characters who are lifelike colourful and so well created The author has captured the feeling of a small community devastated by the events of the war split by the actions of some and connected by the loyalty of othersThe plot moves uickly and Madeleine is an interesting and complex character Sometimes childlike and innocent but also world weary and downtrodden she is complemented by the cast of French characters each of whom have a large voice and presence in the storyThe small French town setting and the wholesome and incredibly realistic characters that live there make this novel special The story is compelling and meticulously researched An evocative multi layered story I enjoyed it very much


  2. says:

    The book gave an insight into the Spanish civil war and beautifully captured the culture and atmosphere of a little French Catalan village I thought it was a little unrealistic how Madelene was able to find all the contacts so easily in an age where communication and technology was far from easy An enjoyable read if not a little unrealistic


  3. says:

    Good first book Loved the story and not all as it seems Strong heroine and flowed well


  4. says:

    The book started of well and the first half is promising The Catalonia that the author paints is beautiful and that's where it stops The second half is boring The story fizzles out to predictable end the characters don't live up to their strengths and are in fact redundant and juvenile in how they react It is obvious that's not what the author intended yet that is how they seem And finally the last 40 pages seem as if the author remembered that she must end with a bang So there is a hurried but unnecessary drama created which hopes to be thrilling but once again disappoints by its predictability


  5. says:

    Wow Whilst reading this I found myself there I could smell the grapes in the sunshine as she sat with Daniel in that shady nook Yes I want to visit this village but sadly it's all in Jane`s imaginationThis is a brilliant first novel good likeable characters that have survived WW2 and the occupation of France The author has for me flawlessly combined the thoughts of a small generation of survivors with a little intrigue that gave this story an angle that I really did not see comingAn enjoyable read not fluffy or too heavyjust right


  6. says:

    Better than I thought it would be Good story but a bit soppy towards the end I know the area where this was set and the descriptive stuff was spot onDidn't much like the central character which was disappointing


  7. says:

    This was an amazing story it had everything A hint of mystery as the heroine tried to find her roots I learnt uite a bit of the history and attitudes both during and after the second world war and finally a bit of romance when Madaleine found loveI felt the characters become real as I readIn some ways it reminded me of the threadI would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys learning a bit of history in an easy way


  8. says:

    Living in Spain and having travelled to Galicia plus being interested in stories which at least touch on the Spanish Civil War I found this interesting as the characters move between Spain and over the border into France and cover a number of yearsIt is an intriguing tale and a leisurely read at a gentle pace


  9. says:

    A fascinating story about the after effects of World War 2 and the Spanish Civil War on a tiny fishing village in French Catalonia marred by a weak heroine a rather odd writing style language that seems incongruously modern for the 1950s setting


  10. says:

    This was one I didn't want to endI loved Jane MacKenzie's description of a region of France that I really knew nothing about prior to picking up this novelThe storyline and characters kept my interestI will look for any other works by this author