The Girl From Guernica by Karen Robards
Genre/Categories/Setting: Historical Fiction, Spanish Civil War, Guernica (Spain), WW11, Germany, Resistance Movement, Espionage, Thriller
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My Summary of The Girl From Guernica:
Welcome to my stop on the Fall 2022 Harlequin Trade Publishing Blog Tour for Historical Fiction. Thank you #NetGalley @HTPBooks @HarlequinBooks @MiraEditors for a complimentary e ARC of #TheGirlFromGuernica by @TheKarenRobards upon my request. All opinions are my own.
This story is inspired by Picasso’s great masterpiece, Guernica.
In April of 1937, the small town of Guernica, Spain was bombed. Robards writes the imagined story of seventeen-year-old Sibi, her siblings, and her mother who lived there at the time. Grif, an American military attaché rescues Sibi from the rubble. Sibi knows aircraft and recognizes that it was the Germans who bombed their town. This knowledge puts her in danger as she and two surviving siblings make their way to Germany to live with their father. As WW11 rages, Sibi joins the resistance movement and works with Grif.
If you’re a fan of Kate Quinn’s work and appreciate a side of thriller with your historical fiction, you will love The Girl From Guernica. From surviving the bombing to living in Germany and working with the Resistance Movement to the heart-stopping conclusion, the writing of Karen Robards had me turning pages with bated breath from the first page.
Characters, Setting, and Plot:
Histic authors use different approaches when writing historical fiction stories. Some authors tell the stories of real people living through a historical event or time period, and others use a historical setting or event and imagined characters.
In this story, Robards uses a real event and time period and imagined characters. I read historical fiction to learn something, and I appreciate reading more about the Spanish Civil War, Picasso’s famous painting, and the endurance of one imagined family. One disheartening fact I learned (during a google search) is that the bombing of Guernica was the first incident of bombing civilians in an attempt to win a war (the current bombing of Ukraine’s civilian population comes to mind).
Some of you might remember that I love a story with a perfect character-driven and plot-driven balance. The Girl From Guernica is an excellent example.
This new-to-me author constructs an exciting story filled with vivid descriptive details and well-drawn main characters that we grow to love and admire. The story is compulsively readable and tension filled.
I love wonderful characters. Sibi is brave, independent, and responsible. Grif is protective, courageous, smart, respectful, and loyal. Together they make an incredible team in their espionage attempts. And, yes, there is a sweet romance brewing, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story.
“As the eldest, upon whose thin shoulders the cares of the family consistently fell, Sibi never had the luxury of being shy or frail.”
Important and thoughtful themes abound in this story and include loyalty, family relationships, truth, survival, trust, determination, bravery, hope, rescue, endurance, siblings, and deception.
I Highly Recommend The Girl From Guernica:
This riveting story is already on my best-of-year list! You know that my 5 Star books must have that WOW factor! I’m enthusiastically recommending this amazing story for fans of histfic with a side of thriller, for readers who love page-turning narratives, for those who admire brave, inspiring, and independent female leads, and for book clubs, The Girl From Guernica is unputdownable and compulsively readable. I devoured it in one day.
(contains spoilers) Content Consideration: a town is bombed with many casualties, death of a parent and sibling, gun violence
My Rating: 5 Stars
Meet the Author of The Girl From Guernica, Karen Robards
Karen Robards is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than fifty books and one novella. Robards published her first novel at age 24 and has won multiple awards throughout her career, including six Silver Pens for favorite author.
Is this compelling histfic on your TBR or have you read it?
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