“A Ballad of Love and Glory astonishes with its passion and historical precision. A simply mesmerizing and unforgettable novel.” —Patricia Engel, New York Times bestselling author of Infinite Country
A Long Petal of the Sea meets Cold Mountain in this sweeping historical saga following a Mexican army nurse and an Irish soldier who must fight, at first for their survival and then for their love, amid the atrocity of the Mexican-American War—from the author of the “timely and riveting” (People) Across a Hundred Mountains and The Distance between Us.
A forgotten war. An unforgettable romance.
The year is 1846. After the controversial annexation of Texas, the US Army marches south to provoke war with Mexico over the disputed Rio Grande boundary.
Ximena Salomé is a gifted Mexican healer who dreams of building a family with the man she loves on the coveted land she calls home. But when Texas Rangers storm her ranch and shoot her husband dead, her dreams are burned to ashes. Vowing to honor her husband’s memory and defend her country, Ximena uses her healing skills as an army nurse on the frontlines of the ravaging war.
Meanwhile, John Riley, an Irish immigrant in the Yankee army desperate to help his family escape the famine devastating his homeland, is sickened by the unjust war and the unspeakable atrocities against his countrymen by nativist officers. In a bold act of defiance, he swims across the Rio Grande and joins the Mexican Army—a desertion punishable by execution. He forms the St. Patrick’s Battalion, a band of Irish soldiers willing to fight to the death for México’s freedom.
When Ximena and John meet, a dangerous attraction blooms between them. As the war intensifies, so does their passion. Swept up by forces with the power to change history, they fight not only for the fate of a nation but for their future together.
Heartbreaking and lyrical, Reyna Grande’s spellbinding saga, inspired by true events and historical figures, brings these two unforgettable characters to life and illuminates a largely forgotten moment in history that impacts the US-Mexico border to this day.
Will Ximena and John survive the chaos of this bitter war, or will their love be devoured along with the land they strive to defend?
“Panoramic and sweeping, A Ballad of Love and Glory immerses us in the history of the Mexican-American War…This is indeed a grand and soulful novel by a storyteller who has hit her full stride.” —Julia Alvarez, internationally bestselling author of Afterlife
“A timely and fascinating novel about courage, love, and loyalty. It captivated me from the first line to its end. Days after I finished the book, I kept reflecting on the parallels with our world today.” —Janet Skeslien Charles, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Library
“With A Ballad of Love and Glory, Reyna Grande employs her many storytelling gifts to paint a vivid and unforgettable portrait of the people caught up in the Mexican-American War…This is a page-turning epic with a love story at its center. Bravo!” —Héctor Tobar, New York Times bestselling author
Reyna Grande is an award-winning author, motivational speaker, and writing teacher. As a young girl, she crossed the US–Mexico border to join her family in Los Angeles, a harrowing journey chronicled in The Distance between Us, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her other books include the novels A Ballad of Love and Glory, Across a Hundred Mountains, and Dancing with Butterflies; the memoirs The Distance between Us: Young Readers Edition and A Dream Called Home; and the anthology Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings. She lives in Woodland, California, with her husband and two children. Visit ReynaGrande.com for more information.