Reviews: NIGHT by Elie Wiesel

nightA few participants read and reviewed Night by Elie Wiesel for the WWII reading challenge.  Here are excerpts; feel free to click the links to read the complete reviews.

Joanna from It’s All About Me said:

One of the things that struck me is that even in times of war human beings don’t really entertain then thought that something bad could happen to them. The Jews in the village where the author lived had heard rumors about the atrocities going on in the camps and about persecution everywhere. They even had actual evidence because of one their own had been taken away and had escaped and come back to warn everyone. And yet they still believed that the war would end just in time or that the Germans would never get that far or that they would somehow be more merciful in their village. Amazing thing, the human mind.

Sandy from You’ve GOTTA Read This! said:

This is a very short book – only 120 pages – but took me days to read. I had to put it down often. The prose is direct and factual, and lacks any in-depth character development. Despite this, I’m left with echoes of a young Polish boy who played his beloved violin to his death. Of hundreds of cries and moans of distress from the train cars, “a death rattle of an entire convoy with the end approaching”. Of a commandant telling young Elie not to worry about his dying father, that it is “every man for himself” and there is “no such thing as a father, a brother or a friend”.

Sumthinblue from Bookmarked! said:

Despite the brevity of the book (less than a hundred pages, in short chapters), the few hours I read it felt like eternity because it elicited so many emotions in me — disbelief at the horror that was unfolding in the novel and double disbelief that it actually happened in this world, incredulity at the capability of humans to cause the suffering of fellow humans, compassion for the victims, and admiration for the fortitude and faith of those who survived (and even those who didn’t).

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**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

Review: GUERNICA by Dave Boling

guernicaMichele from A Reader’s Respite read and reviewed Guernica for the WWII Reading Challenge.  Here’s an excerpt:

This is a character driven novel and Boling fills the novel with complex, rich characters, making the reader a part of the community. You feel as if you have known these characters all of your life…their joys are your joys, their pain is your pain.

You should be aware that the passage relating the actual bombing is, perhaps, one of the most intense scenes on paper.

Read the complete review here.

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**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

Reviews: SKELETONS AT THE FEAST by Chris Bohjalian

skeletons-at-the-feastA few participants reviewed Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian for the WWII reading challenge.  Here are some excerpts; feel free to click the links to read the complete reviews.

Lezlie from Books ‘N Border Collies said:

Simply put, if this book doesn’t move you in some way, I’m pretty sure you have no heart at all.

Christina from Jackets & Covers said:

… [M]y greatest frustration stemmed from the abundance of holes in this novel; it could have used at least 100 more pages of narrative to cover the big chunks of time that went missing with each chapter.

Cheryl from Scrappy Cat said:

It was very thought provoking, raising such questions as how much did the average German citizen know about what the Nazis were doing and what could they have done about it.

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**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

Review: HITLER YOUTH by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

hitler youthJulie from A Small Accomplishment read and reviewed Hitler Youth:  Growing Up in Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti for the WWII reading challenge.  Here’s an excerpt:

This take on WWII was through the focus of the children of Germany. For me it was refreshing, satisfying, educational, terrifying, and heart-breaking. Though I have read dozens of WWII books, there were many things I had never heard about. There were also many photographs that were fascinating and beautiful and horrible.

Click here to read the entire review.

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**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

Reviews: COVENTRY by Helen Humphreys

coventryIt’s time to catch up in posting participants’ reviews!  Don’t you hate it when real life gets in the way of  your online fun??

Anyway…a couple of participants read and reviewed Coventry by Helen Humphreys.  Here are some excerpts, but feel free to click on the links to read the complete reviews.

Here’s what I wrote on my Diary of an Eccentric blog:

Humphreys‘ writing has a wonderful flow, and her descriptions of the bombs exploding and the buildings collapsing thrust you into the scene. Although there isn’t a whole lot of character description, I understood the characters and their motiviations, and I was wrapped up in their lives from the very first page.

Here’s what Jennifer from The Literate Housewife Review had to say:

The way in which this novel is constructed is near perfect. Through shorter chapters, we get to know Harriet, how she became a widow, her afternoon with Maeve, and why she remained in Coventry after her husband’s death. The night that the city was bombed by the Luftwaffe is all told within a single, long chapter. This structure works extremely well.

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**Attention participants:  Remember to email us a link to your reviews, and we’ll post them here so we can see what everyone is reading!**

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