- File Size: 7858 KB
- Print Length: 393 pages
- Publisher: Dr. Thomas P. and Nadia Q. Davies; 1 edition (May 5, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 5, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00K5J2UP4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,084,557 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Love Tears and Salt: One woman’s search for truth, love and the family she never knew Kindle Edition
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family - seemingly overwhelming odds. Nadia persevered throughout great sadness with tremendous will and
resilience. Despite the death of her oldest daughter and the separation from her youngest child she continues to
contribute to society, championing education and helping children, as well as establishing a charity for epilepsy.
She also taught me many lessons in life: To aim high; To never give up; and to always look for the best in others, no matter how cleverly hidden.
Last year I wrote the enclosed op-ed about Mrs. Davies, which was published in the San Jose Mercury News on March 4, 2015 titled, "Great teachers: In Cupertino and San Jose, Mr. Garland and Mrs. Davies changed lives." http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_27771642/great-teachers-cupertino-and-san-jose-mr-garland. It had the happy effect of reuniting me with Mrs. Davies after years apart.
Again, I can't recommend "Love, Tears, and Salt strongly enough to everyone.
Alan Bonsteel, M.D.
Her father, Alfonso Quintana Pena, was a senator in the Second Spanish Republic who co-authored Spain's 1931 constitution. He was one of the very first members of PSOE, the socialist party which has ruled Spain on and off in the last 30+ years, and it was the 1936 assassination of one of his fellow representatives from Galicia, Calvo Sotelo, which sparked the beginning of the Spanish Civil War.
Nadia's mother, Reina Bendayan Benazuly, was a Sephardic Jew whose family had lived in Morocco since being expelled from Spain with all other Jews in 1492. While her father was in one of Franco's jails under a sentence of death, her mother, who had escaped to Morocco while nine months pregnant on a Fascist patrol boat, "married" a musician in the court of King Mohammed V. She later converted to Islam after making Hajj to Mecca - on the King's private boat - following which she discarded her Jewish and Spanish names for a new one in Arabic, and bore Nadia's three Muslim siblings.
When she was five years old Nadia's father escaped from prison with the help of Aristocratic friends and the Basque underground. By a tortuous journey which included a French concentration camp, he made it to Nazi occupied Casablanca where Nadia was living with her Jewish Grandmother's family. That was 1942 - the real Casablanca that was fictionalized in the Humphrey Bogart - Ingrid Bergman movie released that same year. With the help of friends in the Casablanca underground resistance, Nadia and her father were to escape on the last civilian vessel to leave that port, which after a few days at sea encountered a German U Boat intent on sinking it.
And that's just the bare beginning of this tale which reads like great fiction yet is "merely" the facts of one person's life. With her and her father you will make it to Mexico and live in one of the "colonies" of Spanish Republican exiles. You will be lost at night on the slopes of Mexico's sleeping volcano, Popocatepetl, and be rescued by Indians making their way on foot to their remote village. You will watch as Nadia is nurtured by the mother of a very young Plácido Domingo before he became a world famous opera tenor, and chat back stage with Pablo Casals, another exile from Franco's Spain who admired and respected her father. You will see the U.S. through the eyes of a teenage immigrant, struggle to learn English and integrate into American society.
You will also deal with finding yourself married to a closet Gay, become a teacher in American public schools, run for and be elected to a local office and suffer the intense back-biting, scorn and vicious innuendo of political opponents.
And you will struggle with great tragedies, principal of which is having a child suffer from intractable and debilitating epilepsy for her entire life, and watch as the cure for that disease becomes the author's final and greatest life mission.
Written in the simple, direct prose of the best fireside storytellers, it is hard to imagine what more one could want from a memoir - or any book for that matter.