This is the most moving and inspiring story. A must-read for every person who has gone through or is going through any transition in life or trauma. It is a story of love and resilience that will touch your heart and soul. A true lesson that through all challenges we can persevere and create greatness.
Cheryl R. Oliver
Son of a Basque weaves an intricate personal story into an historical context with a narrator who is completely authentic. If there were more books like it, we would more likely relate to the challenges of those who arrived on this shore and the power of each generational decision that followed.
Son of a Basque does a touching and engaging job of bringing the human side to history. The perspective on ‘hard times’ was a welcome reminder as I learned about the Basque people.
Chris M. King
A thought-provoking novel, Son of a Basque illustrates for people who haven’t had this kind of experience the hardships and trauma immigrants suffer and how they can affect future generations. Intergenerational traumatic family patterns are important to understand.
D. W. Brown
This is a straightforward rendering of a life lived and, typical of those from ‘the greatest generation,’ utterly without sentimentality or aggrandizement. Harrowing stories of World War II and the Vietnam conflict are punctuated by unvarnished tales of working in the depraved hell that was the San Quentin penitentiary. But love and family are also given their due. Although rarely spoken of with such unselfconscious candor, this is what much of actual life on earth has been like, unsentimental, pragmatic, and just plain tough.
William A. Douglass
After eighty-two years on this planet as an inveterate reader (and writer) of many books, my criterion in evaluating the latest one is, ‘Did I learn something interesting?’ In the case of Son of a Basque the answer is decidedly ‘Yes.’
A compelling war novel in the tradition of Tim O'Brien. Mark B. Arrieta wrote this book for his family so they would know of their heritage. As a result, we readers have been blessed with a story marked by tragedy and the miracle of a Basque family's resilience.
J. L. Witterick
This story opened my eyes to the greatness that exists in the ordinary. It is about a man who does not let the hardships of his youth determine the person he chooses to be. Son of a Basque is an inspirational read that will tug at your heart.
Though Son of a Basque is offered as fiction, this terrific, moving, and thoroughly engaging book shares an important piece of history that I hadn’t yet discovered and gave me a new perspective on the immigrant experience. I loved it.
A fascinating, well-written account of one man’s journey from impoverished child to hobo during the Depression to a decorated soldier in three wars. I greatly enjoyed reading it.
E! Entertainment Television,
Son of a Basque is a fascinating read and points up the emotional crisis we have with different generations trying to find common ground. For anyone who wants to understand the emotional trauma that many immigrants and families go through, this is a must-read.
Deborah Driggs does a remarkable job of reviving the story of her grandfather Mark Arrieta, whose bare survival and ultimate success was penned by him before his passing in the late ’90s. This book should remind all of us that those before us endured great hardship and pain so our lives could be better. Incredible storytelling.
M. Bryce Ternet
Son of a Basque is a charming narrative of an immigrant son’s journey from impoverished childhood through a colorful military career. The eventful tale is distinguished by the protagonist’s Basque heritage, proud and never far beneath the surface.
A thought-provoking novel, Son of a Basque shows us that the hardships and trauma immigrants suffer—even if they seemingly overcome them—can leave a mark on future generations. Knowing that the story is based on the author’s life makes it even more fascinating.
Son of a Basque captures the quintessential American Story, set against an epic canvas of Dust Bowl poverty, world war, and the 1940s prison system. To follow Mark Vergara on the journey of his life is to witness the son of an immigrant generation discover the meaning in hardship, loss, love, family, and his own sense of what defines a man.
Son of a Basque is an incredible story built on courage, perseverance, and the incredible power of the human spirit. This story humbles the generations of today with the remarkable path created by our ancestors so we could live the life we have. I am in complete awe of the profound strength of this family and Mark B. Arrieta for documenting his family’s legacy and bringing this wisdom forward. Every human young and old needs to read this inspirational story. Absolutely amazing!
Part novel, part memoir, Son of a Basque is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, and always entertaining. I was engrossed from the first page. We have much to learn from the struggles of our ancestors.
Joseph McClendon III
The science of epigenetics has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the fears, beliefs, and subsequent behaviors of our ancestors are passed on to the genes of their offspring. In this amazing memoir masquerading as a novel, Son of a Basque reveals why learning about our parents’ and grandparents’ past struggles is an essential element in understanding our own present-day difficulties.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Son of a Basque; there is so much living history in the book. The story reminded me of my father who also emigrated to this country in search of a better life.