In the Shadow of the Pyrenees: The Freedom Trail to Spain

“A remarkable and moving story of true courage”
JJ Toner, author of The Black Orchestra.

“Gauci’s beautiful, poetic prose drew me into the story from page one. The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat. Beyond a moving, wonderful tale, In the Shadow of the Pyrenees brings WWII fiction lovers to yet another region of the world impacted by the war. Thoroughly researched and told through the eyes of memorable characters, this book is a satisfying MUST-READ!”
Alexa Kang, USA Today bestselling author of the Rose of Anzio series.

October 12, 2023
Marina Osipova.
Compelling, intense, gut-wrenching

As with all the other books by Kathryn Gauci I’ve read, I was instantly hooked. In the In the Shadow of the Pyrenees, the author takes her readers on a wild and dangerous ride through France under Nazi Germany control. Her main characters are ordinary people, mostly villagers who help the British airmen and French and foreign Jews to flee to avoid deportation to labor or concentration camps or to imminent death. The characters latch on to you and pull you with them from one “safe” place to another, through the Pyrenees’ dangerous mountainous areas. You’ll encounter all different people—patriots and collaborationists; uncover family secrets, feel their excitement at successful escape, or suffer with them their losses. They are so real you can’t help but sympathize with them. Their story is a roller coaster of success and catastrophe that left this reader feeling a little breathless at times.

There are heart-wrenching scenes: Pablo and Mercedes and her child, Armando’s unexpected feelings, Colette’s suspicion and suffering, and, of course, all the dangerous, clandestine missions of Justine aka Jacqueline. I don’t want to give away too much or it will rob you of the excitement you’ll experience while reading this captivating book.

The story moves at a quick pace as the plot plays out, thickens, and takes more than a few turns. While the ending held some tragic, twisty surprises, I loved how the author addressed and tied up all loose ends. I also fully appreciated how clues had been dropped throughout the storyline. A very cleverly written must-read for fans of historical fiction, especially of WWII. Highly recommended.

Suzi Stembridge
This latest excellent novel by Kathryn Gauci deviates from the usual WW2 locations but the author’s detailed research really takes the reader into the Pyrenees and little known areas of southern France and northern Spain. Quiet and beautiful areas of southern Europe are thrown into disarray by the arrival at first by frightened and disoriented people, Jews, British airmen and French people wanting to evade the harsh laws of the Vichy and then occupation by brutal German forces.
As with many of Gauci’s stories this isn’t a story of battles, more it is an account of human emotions, frailty, love affairs and heroism. Reading it I thought I had worked out the obvious conclusion but it is a clever author and I was actually surprised by ending!
A very sensitive book, full of pathos and in current times very topical.

October 16, 2023
David Mccann
To Be Brave….

Like the challenging curving trails in the Pyrenees, this book goes back and forth, until reaching an unforgettable pinnacle. A pinnacle built upon bravery, and commitment.