A Lasting Pact

Written by Mark Harrison
Review by Heidi Fuqua

Vicenta’s husband, Eduardo, has been arrested by the blue shirts of the Falangist government in Spain. His only crime is that during the Spanish Civil War he had remained neutral on his reporting of the Spanish Civil War. When her husband disappears, she decides that she must find him, wanting to know what happened to him, and secure his freedom if possible. During her travels she struggles with the corruption of the new government, and the individuals who implement the rules of that government, but before she begins her search, Vicenta realizes that she is pregnant. She finds herself in a country that was not friendly to women with a child and no husband. And of course she needed a way to assure that she and her child were safe in this culture of corruption.

I really enjoyed this book. It is full of interesting characters: Vicenta is a strong female in a time when it was difficult for females to be strong in Spain. I knew that the Spanish Civil War was horrific, but I never realized how the Franco government had restricted the rights of women once it came into power. I believe that the book shows an accurate picture of events that occurred during the time frame. The author describes how women were indoctrinated by the schools, church and the government and must support their husbands. Women were not allowed to make financial decisions without a husband or son signing the paperwork. The author also shows that the government did make strides in educating individuals about hygiene and nutrition which improved the lifestyle of many.

The novel has a mystery that is woven through the story. What really happened to Eduardo? Was he executed for his lack of support for the Franco government? Was he one of the unfortunate victims of the aftermath of the civil war who simply disappeared and died in the prison system of the Falange’s? But no spoilers! The author has shown what life was like for many individuals under the Franco government and overall, this book will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers who enjoy intelligent writing. The e-book edition was reviewed.