This novel by Isabel Allende, based on a true story and true events, tells us about Victor, a medical student in Republican Spain of the 1930s, as he lives through - and survives - the Spanish Civil War, exile to Chile, the Pinochet regime, more exile and eventual return to his homeland. Along the way, we encounter members of his family, friends and political opponents as well as the poet, Pablo Neruda. His life is a life of adventure, degradation and love. Characters are interesting and well-developed and the whole story, although inevitably depressing in places, is important and engrossing. Recommended, especially to admirers of Isabel Allende. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.