Third day into the book and it has been an opportunity for some of the main characters – Robert, Pilar and Anselmo - to share their thoughts with the readers filling in some of the background to why they ended up fighting in the war.
You also get a fixing for the timing, 1936 or early 1937 and a clear idea of what drove the people to war and the anger they had for thosfasciststs living rich off the hard work of the peasants.
Bullet points between pages 149 – 253
* Pilar recounts how the uprising started and the violence she was involved with Pablo in cleansing their home town by killing all the fascists
* Robert starts to think about how long he will be with Maria and faces up to the problems blowing the bridge during daylight and the subsequent retreat
* He also recalls how he was Spanish teacher and the problems being classed as a ‘red’ might cause for his career
* Anselmo waits watching the road and the guard house and thinks about killing and how he wished he didn’t have to do any more
* The relationship between Pablo and Augustin and to some extent the rest of the group starts to disintegrate but then it calms down although they all suspect Pablo heard them all planning to kill him
* Robert dreams of going back to Madrid with Maria if the mission is successful.
Things again are on a knife edge with Pablo becoming more unstable, the mission deadline looming and different reactions stirring towards Robert partly because of his growing love of Maria and partly because of the distance he has put between himself and some gyspy Spanish beliefs. Let’s read on for more tomorrow…