Born in Brooklyn, New York, Grace Banta lived her early years in Mexico. She has lived more than half of her life outside the United States. She met and married her husband of forty-one years in Hawaii, they now live in Florida. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.
Graciela, No One's Childby Banta Grace Banta
Grace vividly describes the extremes she experienced from time spent with
Graciela, No One's Child is a candid, powerful, and evocative account of the author's life beginning with her abduction to Mexico as an infant. The story vividly recounts her amazing struggles to free herself from Matilde's strong and oppressive grip and to rise above her desperate situation.
Grace vividly describes the extremes she experienced from time spent with Nobel Prize laureate, Gabriela Mistral, to years of virtual slavery in the Mexican hill country of Jalapa. She brings to life harrowing, narrow escapes as she constantly pursues her quest to return to the country of her birth and find her family. The reader will be richly rewarded by the inspiration found in Grace's numerous examples of strong faith, hope, courage, and determination as she repeatedly encounters seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Until now, her life story has remained largely hidden from even her husband and children. Throughout her life she carried the burden of hiding the painful truth of her unfortunate childhood circumstances. Instead, she made excuses for fear of the effects exposure could have on her family and herself. Now, convinced by her son, husband and others about the merits of the story, she has decided to publish Graciela, No One's Child.
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When you have nothing, then little things mean a lot. This is a story about the search by a little girl to better understand herself by discovering that most basic need, who were her parents. This is the story of a little girl taken away at birth and growing up in a foreign land without any of that knowledge, and compounded by the deliberate effort by those around her to hide those basic facts from her. This story, once it grips you, does not let you go. It addresses the basic need in all of us to better understand ourselves, even when there is a deliberate obliteration of those facts. This retelling soon grew into a compelling story of grim reality with feelings of despair about the universal callousness we are all capable of doing to each other. It is a condemnation of our innate inhumanity to each other. And yet, at the same time and in the end, this is also a story of redemption and salvation, that proves that in exceptional circumstances, living can always be worthwhile. As the frustrations continued for Graciela to find out about her real parents, there was the growing feeling that there was a glimmer of hope. Little successes began to creep into the story. In retrospect the author realized at the end that her newly discovered Calabrese determination would prove to make this life, with so little given, worthwhile. What an accomplishment! When traveling like this through life, as both Charles Dickens in The Old Curiosity Shop and also Tennessee Williams have written, truly we were "relying on the kindness of strangers." I was struck in this story that there were so many small kindnesses to be thankful for, despite the great injustices. As the story rushed to closure, the repeated trips to New York reminded me so very much of the many seemingly insurmountable obstacles that we all face as well in tracing various aspects of our own family background. The lack of caring on the part of some to help, the denials of others to avoid embarrassments. "Don't bother me," they seem to be saying. Of course everyone has their own life to live, but I fear so many miss the joys of the search. Why do they not care? And driving it all is the fact that by not knowing where to look, the seeker looks everywhere, yes everywhere again and again, in the faint hope that something will work. The list of all the sites Graciela visited in New York was so real, so true. When doing a search such as this you realize that you must never give up! Computers only give facts, and sometimes misleading facts. You never know which one will pay off, and yet they can all build to a crescendo. If you do it in another order, will key connections be missed? You never know. And the sadness and disappointment of being too late because people move away or die, always haunts us. Then there is the feeling that indeed there is more than just our life. That there are souls out there, our ancestors, that do not want to be forgotten. They want us to look. They guide us. Visitations of those in the process of dying. Are those souls still out there, are they flying around, or are they buried in the graveyards? Is it important to be buried near relatives and loved ones. Do we run the risk of falling under the power of the dead if we choose the wrong burial place. Or are these ancestral souls part of us all along in our inner being, and we do not know it? And then there were the miracles. They are the reward.
Grace Banta's book is truly an inspiring tale of hardship, disappointment and confusion with redemption as a closer. How she has maintained her faith in mankind is amazing. She struggled with a cause and won. She broke the link that could have sent her in a totally different way. She blames no one but only looks forward. She as created her own legacy that will be told and re-told for generations in her family. A remarkably strong woman that has lessons to teach regarding strength, perseverance and entitlements.
A MUST READ, even from a guy. Graciela, a beautiful person from childhood abuse, loneliness and dreams to adult success and reunion with her family. Graciela will rip your heart out and have you pulling for her every time that life throws her a curve. And life just keeps on tossing the curves at her. Gaciela's belief system is her salvation. She just keeps trusting that God will help her realize her dream of family reunion. She believes that God must have wanted her to discover her family again. She dreamed. She worked. She persevered and she became part of her family once again. God bless Grace Banta. Author, Graciela, No One's Child. from your friend Gene at Best Dry Cleaner FL in Nokomis, F
It is one of the most captivating books I have ever read! For such a young person to have so much faith and courage and determination in the face of so much suffering and discouragement, is just amazing to me. I think it should be made into a movie, so that the story can reach as many as possible who may be suffering or have suffered in this way. What an inspiration to keep moving forward no matter what!