Author: Trini Amador
Source: from publisher for review
Review Summary: Although the beginning was a bit choppy, by the end I was completely engaged in the story and had a hard time putting it down.
Gracianna is a fictionalized account of the life of the author’s great-grandmother. Inspired by his discovery of a loaded German Luger in her house when he was only four years old, Trini learned all he could of her life from his relatives. He filled in the gaps with a gripping tale of a courageous woman recruited into the French resistance during the Nazi occupation of Paris and forced to make some very difficult choices.
At the beginning, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get into the story of Gracianna. The scene where the author found the German Luger left me far less terrified than I would expect to be by a scene involving a four year old and a gun. The story continued in a choppy fashion, with every chapter broken up into very short and often disconnected scenes by section labels. There was also a lot of telling instead of showing and the dialogue felt a bit stilted. However, early on a picture of Gracianna’s character started to emerge and I liked her. I liked her a lot. She was a very good, very strong woman. It was enough to keep me enjoying the story and it only got better from there.
As the pace of the plot picked up, it became more common for the scenes separated by section breaks to immediately follow one another. That made it easier to ignore the breaks and it only got easier as I got sucked into the intense plot. By the end, the story was flowing very smoothly for me and I couldn’t put it down. I also started to notice some truly beautiful phrases and well-crafted sentences. Although I liked the writing better as I went, it still didn’t overshadow my favorite part – the main character. Even writing this review over a week after finishing the book, I have a very strong impression of what Gracianna was like and again, I liked her. It was incredible to read about someone so brave and so willing to sacrifice herself for others. And even if the brave parts were fictionalized, I think it added to the story that the beginning and the ending were anchored in the truth. Like Anna Karenina, this is a book I would recommend particularly for it’s ability to bring one very striking woman vividly to life.
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9 responses to “Gracianna”
My post on Gracianna comes out on the 14th, and I just have to say I also loved Gracianna as a character. I also thought that Trini Amador, the author, put so much love into the beauty of the book! He really took the time to show how much Gracianna meant to him.
It’s always nice when a book that’s started badly turns 360. I like the sound of the book, and that the author is upfront about the fiction, somehow that makes the fact more reliable as a whole. A lovely cover, too.
Or rather a 180. Not quite awake today!
Haha, I didn’t notice that 360 didn’t make sense until you pointed it out. I was so glad that it got better as it went and I ended up really enjoying it 🙂
I also enjoyed it throughly
I’m glad! I’m checking out your review now 🙂
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Sounds like a really interesting read. I love when a character can be so strong that they can win you over, especially after such a choppy start.
I really think Anna Karenina is the only other time I’ve left this book with such a strong impression of one character and I loved that about both books 🙂