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Search tags: Historical-Fiction
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review 2019-01-16 01:24
Jane Steele by Lindsay Faye (audiobook)
Jane Steele - Lyndsay Faye,Susie Riddell

I'm not sure who it was who described this book as being for those who thought the novel Jane Eyre could have benefited from a higher body count, but they were right. I was only middling in my opinion of Jane Eyre, but I quite liked this odd book inspired by it. I'm not sure what to call it, although I'm not sure I agree with those who describe it as satirical.

 

Anyway, it was lots of fun, and I enjoyed it more than I expected to. (I know I initially decided that I wanted to read it because I kept seeing others reading it, but usually these popular novels fall flat for me.) Oh, and I quite liked Quillfeather in the end.

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text 2019-01-15 21:23
Reading progress update: DNF at page 73
Under A Pole Star - Stef Penney

I will make it short. The reasons for my DNFing this book:

 

Main character no. 1 - Flora (12 years old, her father is the captain of a whaling ship and she is with him on his tour, it´s 1883):

 

  • She "accidentely" gropes the back of a sailor, because his back is so broad and his skin has the colour of honey (and she enjoys groping him)
  • Two Inuit boys show their penises to her, because they think she is a boy (and she doesn´t mind this very much)
  • She gets sexually harassed by the ship doctor (and she actually enjoys being touched by him)

 

... Urhg.

 

Main character no. 2 - Jakob (20 years old) gets introduced into the art of lovemaking by an older, married woman. And the author goes into details.

 

... and I am bored.

 

This happens on the very first 73 pages. I don´t know much else about the characters than this sex stuff and quite frankly, I´m so not interested about anything in this book, especially not the characters. 

 

Next!

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review 2019-01-14 04:48
Book Review: Woman of Courage: Collector's Edition
Woman of Courage: Collector's Edition Continues the Story of Little Fawn - Wanda E. Brunstetter

I did not know that Wanda wrote historical fiction as well as Amish fiction. I do enjoy the story. I got the book woman of courage Collection edition. We get the full story of Woman of Courage along with Woman of Hope which is Little Fawn story.

We meet up with Amanda Person and we go along for her journey. That I really what this book is mostly about. We get a little bit more of Little Fawn's story in the story of Woman of Hope. Wanda does a wonderful job with her writing that she does take you back in time.

Go along with Amanda as she travels you go along as she goes though some of trails and learns about where she is going. Will she find love? Will she be able to spread God word to the Indians? To find out and to read Little Fawns story you should pick up this book.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2019/01/book-review-woman-of-courage-collectors.html
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review 2019-01-12 12:56
Auschwitz Lullaby by Mario Escobar
Auschwitz Lullaby - Mario Escobar

Based on the true story of a brave German nurse tasked with caring for Auschwitz’s youngest prisoners. Auschwitz Lullaby brings to life the story of Helene Hannemann—a woman who sacrificed everything for family and fought furiously for the children she hoped to save. On an otherwise ordinary morning in 1943, Helene Hannemann is preparing her five children for the day when the German police arrive at her home. Helene’s worst fears come true when the police, under strict orders from the SS, demand that her children and husband, all of Romani heritage, be taken into custody. Though Helene is German and safe from the forces invading her home, she refuses to leave her family—sealing her fate in a way she never could have imagined. After a terrifying trek across the continent, Helene and her family arrive at Auschwitz and are thrown into the chaos of the camp. Her husband, Johann, is separated from them, but Helene remains fiercely protective of her children and those around her. When the powers-that-be discover that Helene is not only a German but also a trained nurse, she is forced into service at the camp hospital, which is overseen by the notorious Dr. Mengele himself. Helene is under no illusions in terms of Dr. Mengele’s intentions, but she agrees to cooperate when he asks her to organize a day care and school for the Romani children in the camp. Though physically and emotionally brutalized by the conditions at Auschwitz, Helene musters the strength to protect the children in her care at any cost. Through sheer force of will, Helene provides a haven for the children of Auschwitz—an act of kindness and selflessness so great that it illuminates the darkest night of human history. Based on a true story, Mario Escobar’s Auschwitz Lullaby demonstrates the power of sacrifice and the strength of human dignity—even when all hope seems lost.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

In the year 1943, Helene Hannemann is getting her husband and five kids ready for the day one morning when SS officers burst in and demand that the husband and five children be taken into custody. Helene's husband is Romani (making the children half so) but Helene is German, so she is encouraged to leave them and start a new life elsewhere. What kind of self-respecting mother abandons her family though? To the officers' bafflement she stays put, insisting she goes wherever her family goes. 

 

I always wanted to believe that people would wake up and see what Hitler and his followers represented, but no one did. Everyone went right along with his fanatical insanity and turned the world into a starving, warring hell.

 

The entire family is put on a train headed to the concentration camps. Mother and children are sent to Auschwitz... or more specifically, Birkenau (aka Auschwitz 2), the Romani division of the imprisoned. Helene's husband, Johann, is sent elsewhere but where exactly takes some time for Helene to discover. In the absence of her husband, Helene's eldest son, Blaz, takes up the "man of the house" position, covertly eavesdropping / spying around camp for any intel that may help keep the family safe. The span of the novel covers Helene's time in the camp from May - December 1943. *Note: Chapter 15 jumps to 1944.*

 

He was still beautiful to me despite being battered by life... it was the beautiful face of the man I loved... it was incomprehensible to any but a woman in love who had just found her long-lost beloved.  When you find the one you love, everything is on fire. The half of you that was destroyed and abandoned fits together again, and the pain and suffering become ghosts from the long-distant past. 

 

When news gets out that Helene is a trained nurse, it reaches the ears of Dr. Josef Mengele. Helene is put to work in Mengele's hospital. She's heard stories of his evil side, but wants to do everything in her power to protect the innocent children in the camps.

 

Impressed by her skills, he offers her another position: he wants her to be the director of a school / nursery he is creating for the children of the camps. Though Helene has an inkling of suspicious regarding his motives, she remains optimistic that some good can come from such a project. For one, she's been promised that her children may be moved to a cleaner, safer housing area... so she hesitantly agrees. From then on it is a constant struggle for her, fighting for the welfare of the children while not angering Mengele too much to potentially hasten the end of her own life. 

 

The novel opens and closes with the thoughts of Mengele, his memories of Helene, but the bulk of it is Helene's tale to tell. And what a story this is! As this is based on a true story, many of the "characters" you'll get to know here were actually real, documented people experiencing this time in history. 

 

Sometimes the things we lack or the obstacles we face become allies that help us endure. I decided then and there I would not be beaten. I would fight to the last breath. With the world falling to pieces around me, I would stand firm.

 

Escobar's writing is concise yet quietly powerful, unshakeable, and moving. Parents and non-parents alike, Escobar has his readers thinking on how much we do and would sacrifice for our loved ones, the ends of the earth we would gladly travel across if it meant we could lighten their load even a little bit. Escobar gives Helene just the right blend of motherly warmth and inner heartbreak to instantly endear her and her struggle to nearly any reader. Nurses or nursing students will also empathize with her professional struggles, the situations she is forced to stomach. Particularly heartbreaking is the 5 day rule: any patient in the hospital still sick or injured after 5 days was recommended to the "elimination" list. Helene describes a child she'd grown attached to who was sickly but on the mend... but her bedrest had extended this 5 day rule. Imagine having to stomach this kind of scene!

 

This story is the quintessential lesson in familial loyalty, love and sacrifice. Helene's story as a whole burrowed into my mind long after I finished that last page. It's true what they say, not all heroes wear capes! 

 

This novel is a perfect candidate for potential book group picks. For those interested, a list of discussion questions is included in the back of the book. 

 

FTC Disclaimer:  TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy  of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own. 

 

 

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review 2019-01-11 03:42
We Hope for Better Things - Linda Davis;Erin Bartels;Stephen G. Eoannou;Morgan Hunt;Christine Venzon;Robert Steven Williams;Mary Flynn;Sharon J. Mondragon;Johanna Bilbo;Kendall Klym;Bill Wasserzieher ;Elizabeth Brown;Willa Elizabeth Schmidt;Barbara Yost;Jacquelin Cangro;Elizabeth Ro

I received this book for free from the publisher (Revell Reads) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This was an insightful historical novel about three generations of women from Detroit. It takes place during the civil war, the Detroit riots, and present day. 

 

Out of the three stories, I found Mary’s (the civil war one) to be the most compelling and interesting. The present day storyline was probably the weakest just because there wasn’t anything super exciting going on and it was more focused on discovering what happened in the past. 

 

 

I liked how the three stories intersected and connected. The events were woven together nicely and I liked how the secrets slowly unraveled. I also liked that it took place in Detroit and talked about the riots because that isn’t a topic that is often discussed. 

 

I also appreciated that the author included a note at the end of the book discussing that any shortcomings or pitfalls are her own fault and acknowledging the fact that she is a white woman writing about people of color. I love that level of awareness and am always happy to see authors admit that. 

 

The thing that prevented me from giving it 5 stars, was that it took me a while to connect with the story and characters. It wasn’t until I was near the end that I felt that emotional connection with them. 

 

Overall, I enjoyed this look into the past and found this to be a wonderful debut book. 

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