See How Much I Love You by Luis Leante

Santiago and Montse were young lovers, but after their breakup in 1975 Santiago flees to the Western Sahara with the Spanish army, to be caught up in the war between the Moroccans and the Saharawi and become lost in refugee camps until 20 years later Monste, now a doctor, sees his picture and embarks upon a rescue journey.

While I absolutely appreciate Luis Leante’s technical excellence and command of historical events, I really couldn’t stay engaged with See How Much I Love You. Montse and Santiago didn’t seem vital enough to me for their love story to come to life, and I really need that hook to stay engaged with material this challenging. I guess it seemed a bit dry to me. Perhaps it’s a fault in the translation, though it certainly was beautifully crafted.

I did appreciate learning about a time in history about which I’ve never heard a thing. The bulk of the story concerns the unrest in western Africa after Franco’s death sends the region into civil war and chaos. If you like historical fiction (which I fully admit is not my favorite) then this book has a lot to offer. I think I just don’t have the patience for a book this dense these days, what with chasing the Superfast Toddler and gestating my second Superfast Baby, due in July!

Many thanks to Marion Boyars for the review copy.

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