When Rose, a young English nurse with humanitarian ideals, decides to volunteer in the Spanish Civil War, she is little prepared for the experiences that await her.
Working on one front after another, witness to all the horrors of war, she falls in love with a Republican fighter, Miguel. In 1939 as defeat becomes inevitable, Rose is faced with a decision that will change her life and leave her with lasting scars.
Interspersed with Rose’s story is that of Consuelo, a girl growing up in a staunchly Catholic family on the other side of the ideological divide. Never quite belonging, treated unkindly, she discovers at a young age that she was adopted but her attempts to learn more about her origins are largely thwarted.
It falls to the third generation, to Consuelo’s daughter Marisol, born in the year of Franco’s death and growing up in a rapidly changing Spain, to investigate the dark secrets of her family and find the answers that have until now eluded her mother.
What Readers Say
“A touching tale of love, loss and reparation.” – Jane Graves
“The Red Gene begins as an action story: the adventures of Rose, a young English nurse who goes to Spain to help the victims of the civil war, falls in love and unwittingly sets in motion a chain of consequences that will ring down the decades.
Barbara Lamplugh is bold enough to look at lives on an epic scale. Her wide canvas takes in two countries, several families, five generations and nearly 80 years. Yet her story remains intimate in focus and poignantly observant of those vital close-up moments, whether in an English vicarage garden, a chaotic wartime hospital ward, or a festival in a Spanish village.
This is a touching tale of motherhood under pressure: of love, loss and reparation for Rose and Consuelo, the two vastly different women at its heart. The suspense mounts as we wonder if they will ever meet.
The Red Gene is a fascinating read that affirms the importance not only of the family you have but also of the family you don’t know you have.” – Jane Sullivan
About Barbara Lamplugh
Barbara Lamplugh is the author of two travel books, ‘Kathmandu by Truck’ and ‘Trans-Siberia by Rail’. Both describe journeys she made in the 1970s. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, writing continued to be an important part of her life in the time squeezed between bringing up two children and working in the voluntary sector in Shropshire.
Pursuing a long-held ambition, she moved to Granada, Spain in 1999. There, along with teaching English and working as an editor, she turned to journalism. She became a regular features writer for the UK magazine ‘Living Spain’, contributing around a hundred articles on different aspects of life in Spain. She has also been published in other magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian. ‘Secrets of the Pomegranate’, set in Granada, is her first published novel.
In October 2015 she was awarded the B.R.A.G. medallion for this novel. ‘The Red Gene’, to be published by Urbane in April 2019, is a love story and a historical saga that follows three generations of women, starting with an English nurse who volunteers in the Spanish Civil War.
Barbara Lamplugh on Social Media
‘The Red Gene’ is available at Amazon
|Publisher||Urbane Publications (18 April 2019)|