[Review] Gracianna by Trini Amador
Author: Trini Amador
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press July 23, 2013
Theme: Basque woman moves to Paris at beginning of German occupation.
Source: Free book from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Lynch Public Relations,
Greenleaf Book Group Press, for the purpose of review.
Rating: 5 Stars
The Basque people is an ethnic group that lives on the "western end of the Pyrenees" and north central Spain and the southwestern part of France. The Basque people are a hardworking proud people.
Gracianna and her sister Constance live with their Grand-mere Anastasia. Anastasia is both respected and feared by the Basque people in the village. When Gracianna finished school she gained employment at a sheep ranch. Gracianna is not satisfied, her dream is to emigrate to America, but she must first save money. In the early part of 1940 she travels to Paris. She obtains a job in a restaurant. She has hopes that by working hard and saving money she will be able to live in America. In June 1940 Nazi Germany occupies Paris and the northern area of France which is considered the Occupied Zone. Meanwhile, Gracianna's sister Constance shows up just as Hitler's army moves in. Gracianna is serious and hardworking. Constance is charming, bubbly, and cares about having fun. Gracianna is perplexed that her sister would choose this time to move to Paris. Constance makes rash decisions that leave Gracianna in turmoil.
I loved this story!
My reasons for giving Gracianna a 5 star review.
- Before reading Gracianna I'd not read another book on the Basque people. They are a people group known for being bold and adventurous. I admire these qualities.
- Gracianna is not a typical book heroine. She neither looks like nor acts like most of the female heroines in books that authors create to be enticing. I admire this. The focus of Gracianna is in her personality and integrity, and I love this.
- Gracianna is petite, yet she stands tall because of her bravery. The size of her body is opposite the size of her courage.
- Gracianna and Constance are opposite each other both in the outward appearance and in their personalities. This difference gave the story another dimension. Constance's brazen behavior is a thorn to Gracianna's serious nature. What would happen in their relationship was just one reason that kept me reading.
- Brought into the story is how Parisian's felt about the Nazi occupation, resistance fighters, Jew's living in Paris, the Holocaust, concentration camps.
- Gracianna is the authors great-grandmother. The story is part non-fiction and part fiction. He interviewed family members for history on Gracianna, yet some her story he fills in with fiction. His journey into her story began when he was a small boy and found a German Luger in her bedroom. This memory of finding the gun gained momentum as he grew older to find out the full story. I am amazed at his tenacity in bringing the story to light. He has honored her legacy in several ways, especially in this book.
Gracianna @ Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
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.
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Gracianna Winery Website
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