It is 1939. In the Ventas prison in Madrid a group of women have been incarcerated. Their crime is to have supported or fought on the Republican side in Spain's devastating Civil War. Chief among them is Hortensia, who fought with the militia and is pregnant by her husband Felipe, a man still fighting against Franco's dictatorship. After giving birth to a baby girl, Hortensia is executed by a firingsquad. Later on, her husband will also be shot during an ambush, and her sister Pepita becomes her niece's guardian. Intertwined with these events is the inspiring, romantic and infinitely moving love affair between Pepita and the leader of a guerrilla group, Paulino (alias Jaime). Spanning the years 1939-1963, and based on the lives of actual women survivors of the Spanish Civil War (the "sleeping voice" of the title) who suffered death and imprisonment under the Franco regime, Dulce Chacon's bestselling novel is remarkable for its combination of dramatic intensity and historical authenticity.
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January 2006 : UK Paperback