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October 2, 2020

Remember Me by Mario Escobar ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"For children, war feels like a game at first.  They have no idea that behind the gunshots and uniforms, the marches and the rallying songs, death clings like mud to shoes and leaves footprints of blood and flesh, forever marking the lives of whoever falls into its infernal clutch." (p3)
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Remember Me
September 2020; Thomas Nelson; 978-0785236580
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); historical fiction

Amid the shadows of war, one family faces an impossible choice that will change their lives forever.

This beautiful, well-written, well-researched novel takes place before, during, and after the Spanish Civil in the years 1934 - 1941.  I enjoy historical fiction and especially enjoy it if I learn something new.  I knew very little about the Spanish Civil war before reading this book and learned about how the war split up Spain in this brother to brother conflict and the aftermath of this bloody war. 

Marco, Isabel, and Ana Alcalde live in Madrid with their parents, The war hasn't started yet but people have taken sides and Madrid is no longer safe.  Once the war and the bombing started, Madrid became very dangerous and their mother decided to send them to Mexico when the Mexican government promised protection to the imperiled children of Spain.  The three children are put on a ship with approximately 500 other children and sent across the ocean to live in a town called Morelie.  When they first arrive, they are treated to parades and a lot of love from the citizens.  However, the living conditions and treatment they were subjected to was horrendous.  Along with living in a new land where they couldn't speak the language or know the customs, and the terrible treatment, the worst part for the children was missing their loving parents and not being able to hear from them for months.  Marco was 13 and promised his parents that he would protect his younger sisters but as time went on, it became more difficult to do but they got through their days and weeks with thoughts of returning to Spain and their parents.

Remember Me is divided into three sections - The Beginning of the Civil War in Spain, the children's life in Mexico, and Spain after the Civil War. The book is based on testimonies of several survivors of Morelie and survivors of the war. Be sure to read the Author Notes at the end of the book to find out more about the real people behind this story.

This is an ugly story about the Civil War in Spain.  The brutalities that are carried out between the two sides of the conflict are often difficult to read and there are some horrendous scenes about torture and abuse that are difficult to read but are an important part of the story,  The writing is exquisite.  I underlined a lot of beautiful statements that totally impressed me.  

This was a beautiful book about family, tragedy, love, separation, and the wish for a better future.   This powerful book is about a time in history that is often unknown.  We need to learn from our history to make sure that it isn't repeated in our future.

“Men think they can change the world with bullets, but the only thing that can transform our planet is tenderness.”

Buy Remember Me at Amazon

Historical Background on the Children of Morelia and the Spanish Civil War

In the great wars of the 20th century, an entire generation of Europeans sought refuge in the Americas. They were displaced first by the Spanish Civil War, which was the first modern war of the 20th century, then by the terrible World War II. Just over a quarter of a million people died directly in the conflict, including a large number of children. Some 456 sought refuge in Morelia, invited by Mexican President Cárdenas.
We live in a moment of history with more and more people displaced from their homes. After the Spanish Civil War, just over 440,000 people escaped from the fascist repression. A large part took refuge in the Americas. Especially in Mexico, Cuba, and Argentina.  Remember Me narrates the consequences of the Civil War and the relationship of the Spanish Republic with Mexico, from the first days of the conflict, the exile in France and Mexico of many refugees, the Francoist repression and the mistreatment of children after the war.

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.




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1 comments:

  1. Oh this sounds absolutely lovely. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

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