Those Who Save Us
I read this book in 24 hours, it was that good to me. First, I must preface by warning you that I am a history buff - more specifically, I feel kind of religious in my quest for information about World War II, particularly the Third Reich, the concentration camps and survivors. My need to learn more ebbs and flows because I find it exhausting, it is so solemn... the deaths of young soldiers, the jews being led to painful and senseless death, the helplessness of the population against the tyranny, the hate. It can keep me up at night a bit, like 1 am this morning for example pouring over this book.
My yearn to learn more started for me in college when I took a semester long class about the Holocaust. My professor was jewish and his father a survivor of Aushwitz, an accidental survivor actually. His father came from L.A. to talk to us with his choppy German accent - I was positively thralled. Interestingly, a classmate's grandfather was in the SS, imagine? A semester of crying in every class and really getting into the shoes of every person - wow. So this started it. Today Band of Brothers is on until 10pm, my Tivo is working overtime. I've seen it eleventy times, but each there is something new. I think I may need to dig a little more into some of Stephen Ambrose's novels this year - add some depth to my reading list. But again, I'll have to sip them, because too much somehow weighs on me - I get too involved. And in the dire strait of our current economy - nothing seems impossible. Anyways, stepping off of the soapbox. em.
Here is a good synopsis of the book. It is historical fiction that lends persepctive to the German citizens and possibly some of the real sacrifices they made. I often forget this perspective. The book is told in two seperate times, divided by chapter - World War II for the mother character, while the daughter character is told in the late 90's. The effect of the war on them, clues as to why they are now the way they are, how they have perhaps misunderstood one another. A debut novel for Jenna Blum, loved it.
I won't go on and on about second book, but I finished The Magician's Assiant by Ann Patchett on Christmas Eve, and enjoyed that one too for different reasons. The characters had some depth for me, "can't judge a book by it's cover" stuff. My favorite quote "Where we are born is the worst kind of crapshoot". Well, aint that the truth.