While not quite as majestic as its two predecessors this book was still a joy to read. There is a bittersweet tone to the story as it traces the lives of both the winners and the losers of the Spanish Civil War and how their hopes and fears for the aftermath of that conflict fare. At the same time we are introduced to several memorable new characters and there is an profusion of beautifully dry humour. With the same mixture of grand events interspersed with daily life as "The cypresses believe in God" and "One million dead", the end result is a deeply moving conclusion to the tale of the Alvear family.

Or not quite - for the author wrote a fourth volume in the 1980s - Los hombres lloran solos - which, sadly, has never been translated into English. Should I ever learn to speak Spanish, it will one of the first books I read!