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A Storm Hits Valparaiso Paperback – 27 January 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (27 January 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 350 pages
- ISBN-10 : 146818203X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1468182033
- Dimensions : 15.2 x 1.98 x 22.9 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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The central story is about José de San Martín's efforts, as an Argentine army general, to overthrow Spanish colonial control of north west Argentina, Chile and Peru, and the exploits of Lord Cochrane, a disgraced former English MP and Royal Navy officer, who led the Argentinian navy in support of San Martín.
The book really scores by not only telling the story of the liberation wars from the top down, through the eyes of San Martín and Cochrane, but also from the bottom up, through the eyes of the little people caught up in them: the Indian, who escapes slavery in the silver mines of Potosi, the African slave, who kills his master and escapes from Brazil, the two ranchers, who leave their ranch, and others, all of whom join up to fight in the liberation armies; the young girl who, after the Spanish kill her father, is forced into prostitution to survive.
What they do have in common, however, is that they will become part of General San Martin's herculean effort to free the continent from the Spanish yoke.
San Martin is a brave choice for a protagonist. He was aloof and taciturn and lacked the charisma of his fellow liberator, Simon Bolivar. Such a hero is a challenge for any novelist and Gaughran rightly chooses to people his novel with other, more vivid characters to help enliven scenes with the General.
These characters stay in the imagination. We travel with them through the terror and trauma of war. The heroism of these times of courage and sacrifice is bought vividly to life.
This is Gaughran's debut novel and, goodness, it is an impressive debut. I eagerly await to read more from him.