“Zaragoza writes with infectious enthusiasm in six languages a magnificent story of war, love, courage, and heroes. A masterpiece. Brazzaville goes where no sequel has gone.”
In a world gone mad in the throes of World War II, this brave band of players struggles to survive on several fronts. Pierre Renault takes the name Brazzaville as the code name of his group of French Resistance fighters, based in Morocco. They join the foursome on the first of many missions to rescue their friends, detained by the Vichy, and to form the nucleus of a group fighting the Nazis.
The Nazis kill Victor, take Ilsa, and deliver her to Spain where she becomes a pawn of Franco’s government. Eventually, Franco’s wife takes pity on Ilsa and cooperates in attempts to rescue her and transport her to safety. Rick, not knowing what has happened to Ilsa, marries Yvonne, his old girlfriend, and they fight the Germans in Morocco until fate intervenes. In one bloody skirmish after another, Rick and his friends assist in the invasion of North Africa and beyond.
Ilsa ends up in a safe haven in England, participating in the war by broadcasting coded radio messages that aid the rest of the troop as they ride with American military to Algiers. The Allies drop Rick, Louis, and Sam into France for their assistance in unifying the French Resistance and providing the Allies with information to make D-Day a success.
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite
“Brazzaville: A Sequel to Casablanca by Pablo Omar Zaragoza and Susan Giffin is the authors’ interpretation of what happens to the characters after the movie ended. While getting on a plane and getting away from the danger seemed like a great idea at the time, Rick had no idea that he would be putting both Ilsa and Victor in far more danger. Upon landing, they were protected by the British Secret Service, but soon Victor is killed by the Nazis and Ilsa becomes a puppet of the Spanish government. Rick has no idea what is happening to the two and marries Yvonne, his ex-girlfriend. Soon he has to fight the Germans and think about his survival. Knee-deep in the middle of something they don’t want anything to do with, this group of people must fight and claw their way out of a life they don’t want to lead.
“Who hasn’t watched and loved Casablanca? It was great revisiting these characters who have been a favorite of Baby Boomers. The authors do a great job at keeping the integrity of the characters alive and kept them as close to the original as possible. The fast pace and the intense atmosphere of the novel kept the story going and ensured that the reader would not want to stop reading. It was great how the characters were given their own space where the readers could see them develop and enjoy them. I also enjoyed how it felt like I was watching everything play out right in front of my eyes as I read this novel. It was very descriptive and very vivid, a quality that I thoroughly enjoyed!”
2019 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards