Inca gold, Nazi bombs, and a war-torn Spain surround Sophie Grace, Walt Block, and Philip Stanford in A Whisper of Freedom, the third book in Tricia Goyer’s Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War. The trio are in more peril since they have tricked Michael, Sophie’s former fiancée, out of the gold he had stolen from Spain’s banks. Walt plans to take the gold to collectors in France who will buy it to finance the Republicans against the Fascists. Or does he?
Who is Walt really? And do Sophie and Philip dare to trust him? Can Philip ever trust Sophie again after her seeming second romance with Michael? While they hide out with Basque fighters in the mountains trying to figure out how to get the gold out, they struggle with recognizing their place in the fight, God’s protection, and what life’s real treasures are.
Meanwhile, Michael returns to France empty handed. After his father rejects him again, Michael turns to his Uncle Adolfo who has always supported him. But even Uncle Adolfo is not all that he seems. Michael’s desire for revenge on Sophie, Walt, Philip, and Jose grows.
Jose has rescued his father, another horse trainer, beautiful young Petra, and Adolfo’s horses, but he has lost his wife Ramona who remained behind to nurse wounded soldiers. His journey to find her leads him into Michael’s vengeful path.
Now recovered from his wounds, Deion Clay has fallen in love with his nurse, Gwen. However, when he cautions her against taking too much of the burden of the deaths upon herself, Gwen cuts him off. Deion returns to battle unreconciled with Gwen.
Ritter Agler continues ferrying planes and supplies from Hermann Goring into Spain, but the Nazi general has personal plans for the stolen gold. When Ritter discovers it, he finds that treachery occurs at the highest levels of the Nazi government.
Goyer intertwines these plots to help us understand the motivations of those involved in this little known piece of twentieth century history. She deftly shows that “what we believe colors our world and the view of it.” (p. 139) Her description of the beauty of Granada and Alhambra make you long to see them. She also takes you powerfully into the heart of battles, often lost battles and lost causes, to show the utter fatigue, the astounding courage and devotion of men too stubborn to admit they are beaten.
However, the story would be stronger if the various subplots came together at the end. Deion’s story doesn’t intersect the others in this book and feels non-essential when you’re reading it alone. I’m sure fans of previous books will be glad to see him again, but tying his plot into the others would help the new reader.
Sometimes the dialogue is a little stiff, but the story moves along well and draws the readers in. Fans of twentieth-century historical fiction will not want to miss this series. Debbie Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Battles heat up... not only those being waged by the soldiers on both sides fighting for Spain, but in the hearts and minds of the men and women who must sacrifice more than their dreams in order to save the lives of their loved ones. In this meticulously researched novel, brave and idealistic Sophie, Philip, José, and Deion realize their only hope for freedom is escaping Spain's borders. By continuing the story of this band of volunteers during the Spanish Civil War, A Whisper of Freedom proves that courage and commitment don't always result in outward victory. But there are whispers of hope and freedom that resonate through even the darkest night.