Monday, July 22, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review: Gracianna


Publication Date: July 23, 2013
Greenleaf Book Group Press
Hardcover; 296p
ISBN-10: 1608325709

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.

Review: There's so much to love about this book. The cover is stunning and as you turn the page so are they. There are very few books where the pages themselves are pretty, but this is one of those books.

What I love about this book is that it is part real life and part fiction. Not in the way that a lot of historical novels are though...the main character is the author's great grandmother. How awesome is that?

In fact, how awesome is it that you can write a fictionalized account of your great grandmother's life!

And the story is so gripping. Gracianna is the kind of woman most of us want to be. She's hardworking and ambitious in a time when most women just got married and raised a family. (not that she didn't want that) But she wanted more. She wanted to see more.

Any story that involves World War II and France is going to have suspenseful elements and as Gracianna tries to free her sister you get that.

This is a novel not to be missed!

Rating: 5 flowers


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