Skip to main content

Book Review: Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom

Francisco Franco, a fascist oppressor, puts Spain into civil war in 1936. To help the nation come out of it, the International Brigades fights against the fascists. Bernie Piper, a communist, from Britain goes off missing from the battle of Jarama in 1937. People assume that he will never come back. But his lover Barbara Clare still holds a glimmer of hope.

Next the time is 1940, when Spain is troubled by Germany from its neck and from the sea England is encouraging her to refrain from Germany. The WW-II is on. Harry Brett, shell-shocked and Dunkirk returned, is sent to spy on Sandy Forsyth, allegations are that he is involved with fascists to make money from the war-torn Spain. Harry is shocked to discover that Barbara is living with Sandy. However, he too falls in love with a poor girl Sofia. Harry, Sandy, and Bernie all are from public school. Their rivalry for superior being is not new, and Sandy was always objectionable to both guys. However, Bernie is missing and all these people are in Spain for some secretive objectives, thus each one living with buried secrets in their hearts.

Barbara finds out that Bernie has been taken as POW, so she prepares to release him by betraying Sandy. As Barbara’s preparations shapes up, Sandy vows to rise up by trampling his old school-day chums. Harry finds himself in a mess, though half reluctant and partly scared, he moves ahead with Barbara only to find themselves in the hands of fascists, where Sofia gets killed by fascists. It is only Barbara’s last minute interruption that saves them and they run away with Bernie as a trophy of their secrets.
Winter in Madrid by C. J. Sansom is a war-fiction. It also sounds political thriller, however. The book underlines the coiled politics in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War of 1940. The plot, the characters, and the settings are perfectly aligned and paced up with the story.


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r