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Anetxu “Ani” Largazabalago is a twelve-year-old girl living in
Guernica, Spain, during WWII. Although Hitler’s militant coups earn the focus of  the world, General Franco creates his own brand of civil war in Spain. With  Ani’s father fighting in Spain’s Civil War, her mother and she are left to fend  for themselves. Selling sardines door-to-door, and relying on the mercy of   others, leaves Ani’s mother bitter and Ani with few friends. However, little   does Ani know that her life is about to change. 

When Mathias Garza’s family moves to Guernica, Ani suddenly finds  herself in the middle of espionage. Even though her mother has always told her  that she is insignificant, she can’t help but feel as though she is contributing  something great by helping the underground resistance. 
 
Then, Nazi planes attack her quiet, little town, and Ani realizes  that no one is insignificant.

 Readers who enjoyed Zusak’s The Book Thief (2005) will enjoy this novel. Ani’s life in Spain dramatically mirrors Liesel’s life in Germany during the same period. The main difference is that Death tells Liesel’s story for her while Ani speaks for herself. Although the girls’ lives are very similar, I enjoyed reading Ani’s thoughts because it gave me an insight that I felt was lacking in my connection with Liesel. 

I don’t think that people fully understand the impact that WWII had on the world. We often focus on the horror of concentration camps – as we should – but there were many, many other victims to Hitler’s hate. As a result, Gonzalez presents a different perspective of the many layers that made up this war by focusing on the children who became orphans because of senseless attacks.

 This novel drags in a few places, but, overall, it is a pleasant read. I’m not a big fan of historical fiction, but I found myself   unable to put it down during the last few pages. Although the events in the novel are devastating, the author does a good job of communicating hope without diminishing the cruelty of events.

ARC provided by Radom House (Thank you!)
Publication Date: October 9, 2012


 


Comments

Christina Diaz Gonzalez
05/16/2012 08:48

Thank you for taking the time to review A Thunderous Whisper. I believe you are the first blog review and I couldn't be more pleased to have you associate my book with A Book Thief (a favorite of mine)! Hope you enjoy the final version which will include an epilogue to Ani's story.

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Courtney Krieger
05/18/2012 08:04

Christina, thank you for writing about a part of the world that often gets overshadowed when telling of WWII. I learned something new by reading your book. There was also a certain section that you wrote so well that it made me cry. Very well done.

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10/07/2012 11:07

I'm just starting this and I can't be more pleased to hear and this is like The Book Thief! It's my absolute favorite book. Great review! :) I can't wait to see how it turns out!

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