Author: Trini Amador
Genre: Historical Fiction, War novel
First Published: July 23rd, 2013
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher to give my honest and unbiased opinion.
“The gripping story of Gracianna–a French-Basque girl forced to make impossible decisions after being recruited into the French Resistance in Nazi-occupied Paris.
Gracianna is inspired by true events in the life of Trini Amador’s great-grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. As an adult, Amador was haunted by the vivid memory of finding a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering his great-grandmother’s home in Southern California. He was only four years old at the time, but the memory remained and he knew he had to explore the story behind the gun.
Decades later, Amador would delve into the remarkable odyssey of his Gracianna’s past, a road that led him to an incredible surprise. In Gracianna, Amador weaves fact and fiction to tell his great-grandmother’s story.
Gracianna bravely sets off to Paris in the early 1940s–on her way to America, she hopes–but is soon swept into the escalation of the war and the Nazi occupation of Paris. After chilling life-and-death struggles, she discovers that her missing sister has surfaced as a laborer in Auschwitz. When she finds an opportunity to fight back against the Nazis to try to free her sister, she takes it–even if it means using lethal force.
As Amador tells the imagined story of how his great-grandmother risked it all, he delivers richly drawn characters and a heart-wrenching page-turner that readers won’t soon forget.”
Like earlier stated, I was given this book to review for my honest and unbiased opinion.
Where to begin….mmmmmmmmmm……
Well, this was such an interesting story. It made it even more interesting when I found out that this story was based off the writer’s great-grandmother’s story. I’ll be honest though…I didn’t Gracianna at first, but I grew to love her when she proved she’d do anything for her dreams. Then especially when she risked her life to join the French Resistance against the Nazis. I brave girl and she didn’t take people’s crap. Which I admired.
The beginning was really slow, but get past it and you can’t put down this book. The imagery was fantastic through-out the whole novel. I felt like I was sucked into the story and I felt like I was there. I’m really glad that I read this while we were studying WWII in my World History IV class. I had a better understanding of where Gracianna was from. I never heard of Basque before, but we talked a little bit about it that area in our studies. How funny!
I can’t say much else without giving out spoilers. But I will say, I enjoyed the ending…it just was perfect for the story. I think it would be rather interesting to get a book about Gracianna’s sister and her experiences in the Concentration Camp.
In the end, I really enjoyed this book. It was good. Even though the beginning was really, really slow, I grew to really adore it and I couldn’t put it down. Gracianna was one heck of a character and I grew really to like her. I recommend this to those that like Historical Fictions and the time period. It’s a very good perspective and, at least for me, a different and new perspective. I shall stamp this with…mhmmmm….4 stars.
Favorite Character(s): Gracianna, Juan, and Grandma
Not-so Favorite Character(s): No one in particular….maybe Colonel?
Carole owner of caroleraesramblings.com