Very personal for me as my dad was an international brigader. I've always understood why he did not want to share his experiences with his family. After reading this I feel I understand that even more. It is fiction but really makes you feel engaged with the people, place and times. A very good book. I think I would have loved reading it almost as much without the personal interest, and a good window on how deeply different Spain is from Britain, and how much suffering there has been for so many. A great addition to my Madrid theme - thanks susanne for recommending it.