Guernica by Dave Boling is out in hardcover at 15.60 euros
A while ago, I came across Jason Webster’s book Guerra! Guerra!, based on his experience living in Spain and the events that prompted him to research and write about the Spanish Civil War. I knew almost nothing about this period in Spanish history, and found the events described interesting as well as horrifying. So when I was offered the first novel by Dave Boling, called Guernica, to read, I was intrigued to see how this period would be treated in fictional form. He tells the story through the eyes of one particular family living in the village of Guernica and focuses on the ways in which the prejudice against the Basques is shown in many ways, both large and small, which culminate in the sheer horror of the pointless destruction of this small, civilian, militarily insignificant place.
The characters are vividly brought to life, as is the sense of place and time. The author’s journalistic experience enables him to convey realistically detailed pictures of people and their reactions to one another.