The Red Gene
'A wonderful book. It is so evocative of 1930's Britain and the generation for whom Spain was a huge issue … I really enjoyed reading it, with so many of the characters so brilliantly realised’
(Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party)
About The Red Gene
‘Quite simply, this is an enthralling novel with real historical heft.’ – Judith Keene
‘This is a touching tale of motherhood under pressure: of love, loss and reparation… a fascinating read’ – Jane Sullivan
‘An evocative story of Spain set against the background of civil war and its aftermath.’ – John Simmons, author of Spanish Crossings
When Rose, a young English nurse with humanitarian ideals, decides to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, she is little prepared for the experiences that await her.
Working on one front after another, witness to all the horrors of war, she falls in love with a Republican fighter, Miguel. In 1939 as defeat becomes inevitable, Rose is faced with a decision that will change her life and leave her with lasting scars.
Interspersed with Rose’s story is that of Consuelo, a girl growing up in a staunchly Catholic family on the other side of the ideological divide. Never quite belonging, treated unkindly, she discovers at a young age that she was adopted but her attempts to learn more about her origins are largely thwarted.
It falls to the third generation, to Consuelo’s daughter Marisol, born in the year of Franco’s death and growing up in a rapidly changing Spain, to investigate the dark secrets of her family and find the answers that have until now eluded her mother.