Cover Image: Acts of Love and War

Acts of Love and War

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Member Reviews

I love books that explore the history of the time they are set in and this didn’t disappoint. Based during the Spanish Civil War, a brutal time of Republicans against Fascists led by General Franco. A build up to World War 2 with Italy and Germany hovering in the background. 
I’m not sure how easy it would have been to go to Spain from England in that time period. Brothers Jamie and Tom decide to go to Spain for opposing reasons. Tom wants to emulate his father, who was killed in action, and he joins the Republicans. Jamie has thrown himself into Catholicism and opposes the priests and nuns being apparently slaughtered by the Republicans. He goes to report on what is going on.
Lucy, who they have known from childhood wants to bring them both back and make them see sense. However once there, she gets involved in looking after the refugees and setting up shelters for the children and teaching them.
Lucy is conflicted as she loves both Tom and Jamie in different ways. Who will truly win her heart, if they both manage to survive?
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This is a well written and researched book set around the Spanish civil war. I thoroughly enjoyed following Lucy’s  journey and her love of two brothers. Recommend wholeheartedly.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It was captivating from the beginning.  I didn't know very much about the Spanish civil war.  Coupled with the story of one woman in love with two brothers made for a really good read.  It was amazing the amount of humanitarian work that took place.  I look forward to reading more from Maggie Brookes - a follow-up to this one would be really good.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Century for providing me a free copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I loved the Prisoner’s Wife by Maggie Brookes and I was so excited to have been given a free copy of Acts of Love and War. First off, this novel gripped me on the mere mention of it being based in the Spanish Civil War. As an avid World War Two historical fiction reader, the Spanish Civil War is a much forgotten aspect of the World War. Brookes did unbelievable justice to showing the true extent of the Spanish Civil War on both sides. The incredible amount of detail poured into the pages of this novel brought it all to life. Lucy’s work in Spain gave the most human and innocent view of the Spanish Civil War which made such a strong impact upon the reader as the novel went on.

One aspect of the book which lost my attention was the love triangle. Sometimes I was confused by the behaviours of the brothers and other times I didn’t like their attitude towards Lucy. For me, the most powerful aspect of Lucy’s character was gaining her independence and her making a life for herself which she sought to live. It was so empowering to see Lucy develop as a character through the pages. 

I cannot wait to see more books from Maggie Brookes in the future!
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Set during the Spanish Civil war, Tom a hot headed English boy leaves his mother, brother and best friend Lucy and her father Captain Nicholson to join the international brigade in Spain. His brother Jamie is against the war, and sympathises with Franco and gets the opportunity to go to Spain as a journalist.. Lucy is devastated and decides that on her 21st birthday, much to the disgust of her father to go to Spain to bring both brothers back while volunteering for the Quakers in feeding the refugees.

A love story with many twists and turns.

The subject of the book was very interesting , however the character Lucy was irritating at times.
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A great historical book set in the Spanish Civil War. Two brothers on different sides face many challenges. An interesting look into the humanitarian side of the war. So well researched and written.
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A really enjoyable yet heart wrenching read. Main character Lucy is an amazing woman despite so much being against her and various circumstances lead her to Spain during the Spanish civil war. Above all else it is about the love she has for the children and families she helps, and not so much about the love for the two brothers she knew in England who lead her to Spain. It's an interesting read in terms of learning about the civil war period and the amazing work of the Quakers during that time. Thanks to Netgalley the publisher and author for my arc.
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This was a wonderful historical fiction set during the Spanish Civil by a new to me author, Maggie Brookes.
I do love historical fiction, especially when I don’t much about the setting. I’ve only read one book set during the Spanish Civil War, so I was eager to read this and it did not disappoint at all. I was hooked right from the first page and enjoyed every single minute.
I loved the main character Lucy, and could understand her frustration about her home situation, and the reason why she went off to Spain to bring the brothers back. She was very brave, but also a little naive to think she could bring them home. The romance was complicated and I could understand why she felt the way she did about both Jamie and Tom. 
I was fascinated with the situation in Spain and how the two brothers were facing it, and how Lucy got stuck in to helping the refugees. I felt like I was there with her and the other characters trying to help. I particularly liked the information about the children’s homes and the printing presses, really fascinating. the author’s note at the end of the book was illuminating, definitely worth reading.
Highly recommended if you enjoy historical fiction.
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I love historical fiction, but I particularly love historical fiction that teaches me about an episode in history I know very little about, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to read Acts of Love and War set during the Spanish Civil War. It’s a moving story, the perfect blend of fact and fiction with a sprinkling of romance and I very much enjoyed it.

In 1936 Lucy is a young teacher living a quiet life in Hertfordshire until her friend and neighbour, 19 year old Tom announces that he is going to fight in Spain. When Tom’s brother Jamie decides that he is also going to Spain, but to support the other side, Lucy is left feeling so worried about her two oldest friends that she decides to travel to Spain herself to try and persuade them to come home.

Confronted with the horrors of war, Lucy decides that as well as helping the men she loves, and ultimately must choose between, she needs to do more and begins to work with the Quakers helping Spanish refugee children.

This is a beautifully written story and a reminder about the horrors of war and the impact on innocent civilians, given an added poignance given with all that is going on in the world currently. I found the tireless work of the Quakers particularly interesting as my grandparents were Quakers and I was educated at a Quaker school, so I was aware of their considerable philanthropic efforts, though this part of their history is not one I had heard about previously.
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Not usually a reader of historical fiction, unusually, the plot of this novel drew me in and I was not disappointed.
Set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War, two brothers, Tom and Jamie, travel to Spain to play their part in the war on opposing sides. Their neighbour Lucy, follows them, promising their mother she will bring them home safely.
A rich, tale of war and loss and the dreadful conditions experienced during that time. Certainly the kind of suffering experienced is still happening in modern day conflicts. A brilliantly written story  which totally captured my attention.  
My thanks to NetGalley, Maggie Brookes and Random House for an ARC of Acts of Love and War in exchange for an honest review.  A thought provoking read, very much enjoyed and a worthy four stars.
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Lucy lives with her father in Hertfordshire. Next door live Tom and Jamie with their mother. Lucy loves them both even though they are completely different to each other.
In 1936 the Civil War is being fought in Spain and Tom decides he must go and fight for the democrats. Then Jamie goes but is supporting the Fascists.
Jane wants them home so decides to go to bring them home but soon gets caught up in the Quaker movement over there and helping the refugees.
She soon realises that she might not bring either brother home and might not make it back herself.
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Brothers Tom and Jamie head off from the UK to participate in the Spanish Civil War, finding themselves on opposing sides. Close friend Lucy is determined that both men should return home, but realises the only way she can ensure this is to follow them to Spain herself. On arrival, she sees first hand the devastation caused, and vows to help the local children as well as the men she loves.

A book full of wonderfully well written descriptions - from the locations to the letters Lucy receives describing the reality of war. Lots of very vivid characters, many based on people who actually helped during the war. A great novel.
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This novel, set in the 1930s, explores life during the Spanish Civil War and how the Quakers helped alleviate the suffering of many of its victims. Two brothers take opposite sides in the war and head to Spain, one joining the international brigades to fight against Franco and the other to act as a journalist for an anti-Republican paper that celebrates and supports Franco’s regime. Worried for the brothers' safety, Lucy (the main protagonist) promises their mother that she will do all that she can to bring them back home. Also motivated by a desire to make a difference in the world, she joins the Quakers' mission to help refugee children in Spain. This novel is very well researched and peppered with historical detail, but the portrayal of too-good-to-be-true Lucy was less compelling. Guessing which brother our heroine will end up with (or not) drove the story along for me and the ending was satisfying and better than expected. Reading about the amazing and selfless work done by wartime aid workers was also inspiring and heart-warming.
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"Acts of Love and War" is unusual in that the focus of the narrative is on the humanitarian relief efforts undertaken by various organisations, including the Quakers, during the Spanish Civil War.  At the heart of the story is Lucy, a young woman searching for something useful to do and which will allow her to escape from the drudgery of caring for her widowed father.  She is also trying to look out for her neighbours two sons, Tom and Jamie, who are almost like brothers to her.  There is love and friendships a plenty as the war rages on.  There are visible parallels between Franco and Putin, as well as the threat of the increasing power of Hitler. 

Thanks to Net Galley and the publishers for the opportunity to review this book.
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This book starts in Hertfordshire in 1921. Lucy is content with her life. She lives next door to Tom and Jamie, two very different brothers  who she loves equally. 

1936 and the Spanish Civil war is dividing people. 

Tom then makes the decision to travel to Spain to fight in the War on behalf of the Spanish republic. He is quickly followed by his brother Jamie, who is supporting fascist General Franco. Lucy then decides that the only way to bring the boys back safely is to travel to Spain herself to persuade them to come home. This is however against her fathers wishes. 

When she sees the horrors of the war she quickly becomes immersed in the work the Quakers are doing to to help the many civilians, most are refugees and the children are her main concern. 

As the war progresses which brother will Lucy end up with or will any of them return to the UK alive. 

This was a great book with great characters and you can see why Lucy fell for both brothers. Well written and I really enjoyed reading it.
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This isn’t a book I’d have chosen to read ordinarily but I’m so glad I did.
The story is so vivid. You can imagine being there and the desperation. The lead is an amazingly resilient strong woman who you are just drawn to. I couldn’t stop reading. I cried, I smiled and was sad when it ended. 
I really enjoyed it and have recommended it to my family.
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The story of two brothers on either side of the Spanish Civil War, an interesting and absorbing read. I have read accounts of the war but not the huge humanitarian efforts that took place. There were many interesting facts along side the fictional tale which worked well. It may have helped that I read this whilst in southern Spain.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers Random House for this ARC copy
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This book was catnip for me - the Spanish Civil war and a woman torn by her love of two brothers but so much more. Lucy travels to Spain as a volunteer in the struggle to provide aid to the numerous refugees of the civil war, but also to bring home her two best friends Tom and Jamie who find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict. The plight of the people of Spain especially the children and the efforts of the aid agencies who helped them will remain with me - as well as the horrors of war inflicted on innocent civilians sadly still so relevant in today’s times.
I was sad to leave Lucy and her friends and hope that maybe I will be able to follow her story further.
Thank you Random House for giving me the opportunity to review this book. I will look word to reading other books by this author.
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Wow, what an amazing and compelling read, set during the Spanish Civil War. It brings home the suffering of the ordinary Spanish people who on the whole had very little in the way of possessions but when they had to abandon their homes to flee Franco's army everything became much worse than they could ever have imagined. The story begins in Hereford with Lucy and her two best friends and neighbours, Tom and Jamie who Lucy has loved for as long as she can remember. Everything is to change when Tom decides he must go help the Spanish people fight the fascists led by Franco who also had help from Germany and Italy. He is closely followed by his brother Jamie who although not going to fight he is going to support Franco. Once Lucy turns 21 she decides to travel to Spain to try and persuade the boys to return home, her journey is supported by the Quackers, once she arrives in Spain she realises that there is so much work to be done supporting the refugees especially the children and that they must become her number one priority. The brother however are never far from her thoughts. I have read other books about the Spanish Civil War and this is up with the best, I know Spain quite well and the descriptions made it all the more realistic.
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