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Inheriting our Names: an imagined true memoir of Spain’s pact of forgetting by C. Vargas-McPherson

February 26, 2023

I’m still reeling from the experience of reading this book. It is so profoundly moving I’m having a hard time processing what the author’s maternal family went through during Franco’s brutal dictatorship in Spain. 

Part reconstruction based on family stories, letters and history and part personal memoir, C. Vargas-McPherson has woven individual facts and anecdotes into a compelling narrative with the help of imaginary interactions and real events. Being the second daughter born under sad circumstances to a mother who was also a second daughter conceived in Spain’s tragic civil war, the author heads for Seville in an effort to discover the stories behind the sorrow, as well as her spiritual and historical home. What she learned, uncovered and experienced found voice in this remarkable, evocative and sometimes harrowing true story.

Having recently spent time in Seville in the areas where her family lived, I could visualise their lives, their homes and the vibrancy of the barrios, as well as feel the cut and pain of the shocking reign of oppression that left thousands dead and even more starving. 

This exceptional and beautifully written book switches from her grandmother’s dialogues with the Virgin Mary to the story of her grandparents’ lives during a period of Spain’s cruellest history to the author’s own experiences in Spain and earlier. It is sometimes a little difficult to keep track and I would have loved to know more about her own childhood, but I was riveted from start to finish. This book is a literary triumph as well as being a fascinating memoir and biography. Very highly recommended!

The link to the book is here on Amazon US, but it is available on all marketplaces


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  1. Thank you for the recommendation! This is exactly the kind of book I like to read. Just not now. I need to read humourous books at the moment. But it’s being added to my TBR list.


    • I can definitely recommend it, Irene. I generally prefer more humorous books too, but this was quite riveting. The history fascinated me.

      Liked by 1 person

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