Thursday, August 29, 2013

The English German Girl by Jake Wallis Simons

It's the late 1930's in Germany and the Kleins are Jewish.  As Hitler is coming into power, that's a bad thing to be...

Skyhorse Publishing sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It will be published in the US in September, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This book offers you a hard look at what life was like for the Jews in Germany prior to war days.  They lose their jobs, get stripped of their food, and eventually have to separate in hopes of rejoining each other in the future.

When Rosa's family learns of a train running to England, they send their 14 year old daughter to a cousin living there.  The youngest and oldest children don't fit the parameters, so only Rosa can be sent.

At 14, I can't imagine being separated from my parents and being sent into an unknown country to live with relatives I've never met.  Rosa misses her family terribly and finds all her "aunt" wants her for is the work she can do.  To get her work done for her aunt, she's up most of the night.  She spends the days trying to get visas for her family.  She also starts to develop a relationship with the son, which is forbidden. When the inevitable happens, the "aunt" goes ballistic and takes action that changes Rosa's life forever.

Rosa is very strong character as she grows up in the story.  She survives what life throws at her, learns from her mistakes and moves on.  But was Samuel responsible for the ugly end to her stay at that household or was it his mother?  She has one more chance to find out when Samuel is a patient at the facility she is training at for nursing.  She has to listen first, though.

This is an authentic look at the time period and circumstances.  Bad things happened to good people, nothing was fair, and yet some folks came out of it with hope left and the ability to build a new life.  Rosa is one of those.  This story is fiction but you may have someone in your life that escaped those days, too.  My grandparents immigrated from Czechoslovakia to escape Communism.  They never talked about "before".  In this story, Rosa doesn't either.

Happy reading.

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