Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: "Gracianna" by Trini Amador

Synopsis:  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.

My Thoughts:  I really enjoyed this book! It was a little slow to start but once the story got moving,
it really pulled me in.  Gracianna is the story of an intelligent, ambitious Basque woman and her involvement in the French Resistance during World War II.  It is the remarkable story of one woman's struggle against the Nazis and her attempt to save her sister from the horrors of Auschwitz.

Gracianna was an unlikely heroine; she grew up in a small village in the Pyranees and moved to Paris to earn money so she could travel to America.  Her involvement in the French Resistance came about purely by accident but she quickly became a key player in the fight against the Nazis.  She handled her work with strength and grace; it was admirable to watch her deal with being in such a difficult situation.  When her sister was sent to Auschwitz, she did everything in her power to get her freed no matter what the cost.  While I liked Gracianna a lot, I think Juan was my favorite character.  He was such a calm and reassuring force in Gracianna's life.  I was so glad that they got together because he was so loving and supportive of Gracianna's work with the Resistance.

Gracianna is a wonderful addition to World War II era historical fiction.  I haven't seen many books out there that focus on the French Resistance so it was a breath of fresh air to read something different. 3 stars.

I received this book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Trini Amador vividly remembers the day he found a loaded German Luger tucked away in a nightstand while wandering through 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. This experience sparked a journey towards Gracianna, Amador’s debut novel, inspired by true events and weaving reality with imagination. It's a tale drawing from real-life family experiences.

Mr. Amador is a traveled global marketing "insighter.” He is a sought-after guru teaching multinational brand marketers to understand how customer and consumer segments behave based on their needs, values, motivations, feeling and values. He has trained over five thousand brand marketers on how to grow brands in over 20 countries in the last 15 years. His counseling has been valued at global brands including General Electric, Microsoft, AT&T, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, Google, Jack Daniel’s, The J.M. Smucker Co., DuPont, Mattel, and Rodale, Inc..

Amador is also a founding partner with his wife and children of Gracianna Winery, an award-winning winery located in Healdsburg, California. The winery also pays tribute to the Amador Family’s maternal grandmother, Gracianna Lasaga. Her message of being thankful lives on through them. The Gracianna winery strives to keep Gracianna’s gratitude alive through their wine. Learn more at: www.gracianna.com, like Gracianna Winery on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @GraciannaWinery.

Amador resides in Sonoma County with his family.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm happy to hear to enjoyed this one! I'm scheduled to read it for the fall tour, so hopefully I'll enjoy it as well

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