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review 2015-07-08 02:31
The Cherry Harvest by Lucy Sanna
The Cherry Harvest: A Novel - Lucy Sanna

The Cherry Harvest

Lucy Sanna

Hardcover, 336 pages

Published June 2nd 2015 by William Morrow

ISBN 0062343629 (ISBN13: 9780062343628)        

The Cherry Harvest is set during WWII on a cherry orchard in the US whose owners choose to use German POWs to complete the harvest during a labor shortage. The story is told from the point of view of Charlotte, the mom, and Kate, the daughter. The author did well in setting the tone of what a farming town had to deal with as far as labor shortages that caused some farmers to not be able to complete their harvest and remain financially viable, shortages of cloth, meat, fuel for vehicles, many of the younger men being off to war, and on top of that, the fear of having a German POW camp near by. I liked Kate, who seemed to have it together as far as how she was going to succeed in going to college. Charlotte seemed a little more shallow of a character. She seemed to be likable, but also seemed to put down Kate's dream of going to college as being silly and then became excited about Kate taking an interest in housekeeping instead of being happy that Kate was trying her best to be successful at both. Overall, I enjoyed the book. The ending was not quite what I expected, but not a total surprise.

****I received this book in a giveaway held by The Reading Room and publisher, William-Morrow****





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review 2014-11-26 19:28
Judy, Judy, Judy
Judy: The Unforgettable Story of the Dog Who Went to War and Became a True Hero - Damien Lewis

3.5 to 4 stars

Reminded me quite a bit of Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, but not as well written.


I love a good dog story, but Judy became a minor player during most of this book.  The author's writing style also left a bit to be desired, telegraphing each and every chapter with the doom foreshadowed.  Until the very last chapter, things never got better, only worse, for Judy and her fellow POWs.  

I went ahead and gave it as high a rating as I did because I felt deeply the plight of Judy and the Allied POWs in Sumatra.  Especially poignant the epilogue, but I'll leave that for you to discover on your own.  

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read the eARC of Judy: A Dog in a Million, available from your favorite book retailer next Tusday, December 2, 2014. 


Cross posted on GoodReads and my blog. 

Source: mossjon314159.wordpress.com/2014/11/26/book-review-judy-by-lewis-3-5-stars
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review 2013-11-14 04:07
Moving true stories like this should not be forgotten
The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz - Denis Avey;Rob Broomby

It is impossible not to be moved by the story of Denis Avey, the man who broke into Auschwitz. A British POW in the second world war, it has taken him 70 years to tell his story. He recognised that it was important for his story to be told and I agree with him.

The title, 'The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz', is somewhat misleading but it does not make Avey's story any less incredible. While a POW, Avey worked alongside the Jewish who were prisoners in Auschwitz III Monowitz. This is not 'the' Auschwitz where the mass murders through gassing occurred, although it wasn't far from there, this is where they housed those fit enough to labour for the German war effort - until of course they were worked to death. On two occasions, Avey swapped places with a Jewish man named Hans, putting his own life at risk so that Hans could have a decent feed and a sleep where he wasn't in fear of at any moment suddenly being put to death. I think it amazing that Hans would swap back the next day, knowing what it was he had to go back to. The British POWs weren't treated well, but it was better than the Jewish men were treated.

As well as being the story of Avey's swap with Hans, this also the story of Avey's chance meeting with another Jewish man named Ernst, who had a sister relocated through the Kindertransport to England. What followed had me in tears on the train.

I worry that stories like Denis Avey's, like Hans' and Ernst's, will fade as time goes on and we progress further and further from the days of World War II. I think it is so important that we do not forget what happened during the time, lest it happen again.

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