Acts of Love and War

Acts of Love and War

A nation torn apart by war. One woman steps into the crossfire.


1936. Civil war in Spain. A world on the brink of chaos . . .

21-year-old Lucy feels content with her life in Hertfordshire - not least because she lives next door to Tom and Jamie, two very different brothers for whom she has equally great affection.

But her comfortable life is turned upside down when Tom decides he must travel to Spain to fight in the bloody Spanish Civil War. He is quickly followed by Jamie who, much to Lucy's despair, is supporting General Franco.

To the dismay of her irascible father, Lucy decides that the only way to bring her boys back safely is to travel to Spain herself to persuade them to come home.

Yet when she sees the horrific effects of the war, she quickly becomes immersed in the lifesaving work the Quakers are doing to help the civilian population, many of whom are refugees.

As the war progresses and the situation becomes increasingly perilous, Lucy realises that the challenge going forward is not so much which brother she will end up with, but whether any of them will survive the carnage long enough to decide . . .

'Wide in scope and told with honesty, insight and tenderness, a moving and unputdownable story of bravery and endurance in the face of the hurts inflicted by both love and war.' Judith Allnatt, author of The Poet's Wife

'An accomplished and expansive portrait of a conflict fought on the battlefield of the human heart. I knew little about the Spanish Civil War and Maggie Brookes brought it home to me with beautiful, searing clarity. Deft, assured and humane.' Anne Morgan, author of Reading The World

'Emotionally captivating and authentic, Acts of Love and War is an unforgettable story of how love is refined and defined when thrust into the crucible that is war. Expertly researched and executed, this is a story that absolutely needed to be told.' Susan Meissner, author of The Nature of Fragile Things

'In Acts of Love and War Maggie Brookes leavens the horror of civil war and encroaching Fascism with the human capacity for love and self-sacrifice. In a beautifully woven tale, we witness compassion for strangers, sharpened by romantic love, almost engulfed by the struggle to stay alive and sane as bombs fall, children are orphaned, hunger rises and brother fights brother. Extraordinary events sensitively told.' Lucy Jago, author of A Net For Small Fishes

About the author

Maggie Brookes

Maggie Brookes is an ex-journalist and BBC TV historical documentary producer, turned novelist and poet. She relishes uncovering stories about the strength of women and the power of friendship and love in the most terrible of circumstances. Acts of Love and War is about love and courage in the brutal Spanish civil war. The Prisoner's Wife - based on an extraordinary true story of WW2 - was published around the world in 2020. Maggie taught Creative Writing at Middlesex University for thirty years and has had six poetry collections published under the name Maggie Butt.
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