In 1935, Miguel Navarro finds himself in conflict with the Spanish Civil Guard and flees the Basque fishing village of Lekeitio to make a new start in Guernica, the center of Basque culture and tradition. In the midst of this isolated bastion of democratic values, Miguel finds more than a new life - he finds someone to live for. Miren Ansotegui is a charismatic and graceful dancer who has her pick of the bachelors in Guernica, but she focuses only on the charming and mysterious Miguel. The two discover a love that war and tragedy cannot destroy.
History and fiction merge seamlessly in this beautiful novel about the resilience of family, love, and tradition in the face of hardship. The bombing of Guernica was a devastating experiment in total warfare by the German Luftwaffe in the run-up to World War II. For the Basques, it was an attack on the soul of their ancient nation; for the world, it was an unprecedented crime against humanity. In his first novel, Boling reintroduces the event and paints his own picture of a people so strong, vibrant, and proud that they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect their values, their country, and their loved ones.
©208 Dave Boling; (P)2008 Tantor
One of the best listens of the year for me.
I just became so attached to the characters.
Well worth the time. This was a sliver of history I knew nothing about. I liked the link to Picasso's famous mural
While this is a book of fiction, it told a very real story of an event in WWII and its profound impact on those who lived in Guernica. The characters were well drawn and I felt the tragedy they suffered. I'm glad I listened to it.
I would rather have read this in print version so I could have added my own accents and intonations.
Miren was my favorite character because she was so alive. I could just see her dancing, much as I loved to dance, but much better of course.!
Lloyd James should have been given a lesson in Basque language pronunciation. For the first half of the book I thought one of the main characters was Marian Helis, and I was trying to figure out what sort of Basque name "Helis" was. Then I realized her name was the beautiful Mariangeles, and after that, every time he spoke her name, it was like fingernails on the blackboard. I was pleased that he pronounced "Amuma" correctly, as that is what my grandchildren call me. But the names of some of the towns, all of which I have visited or lived in, was often just off.
A romantic war story
Being Basque, having lived a good deal of time in Euzkadi, I loved the familiar images Dave Boling shared with his readers. I really enjoyed this book.
Multiple times, I've turned on my next listen and heaved a heavy sigh when I sadly realized that I wasn't listening to Guernica. The tragic story, the amazing love, the moving narration, it's all fabulous. I have no clue how I stumbled on this book but I'm so glad I did.
This was a very enjoyable book about a horrific event. The characters were wonderful and believable which makes history come alive.
I got this book mainly for the history. I thought getting the history via an exciting yarn would be good. The story line and characters are good, but part I goes very slowly as the family characters develop, Too many pages with little action or adversity to grab you. Part II made listening to Part I worth it, that is, for an ok read. The narrator does a respectable job.
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