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The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham

The Child of Auschwitz by Lily Graham

It is 1942 and Eva Adami has boarded a train to Auschwitz. Barely able to breathe due to the press of bodies and exhausted from standing up for two days, she can think only of her longed-for reunion with her husband Michal, who was sent there six months earlier.

But when Eva arrives at Auschwitz, there is no sign of Michal and the stark reality of the camp comes crashing down upon her. As she lies heartbroken and shivering on a thin mattress, her head shaved by rough hands, she hears a whisper. Her bunkmate, Sofie, is reaching out her hand…

As the days pass, the two women learn each other’s hopes and dreams – Eva’s is that she will find Michal alive in this terrible place, and Sofie’s is that she will be reunited with her son Tomas, over the border in an orphanage in Austria. Sofie sees the chance to engineer one last meeting between Eva and Michal and knows she must take it even if means befriending the enemy…

But when Eva realises she is pregnant she fears she has endangered both their lives. The women promise to protect each other’s children, should the worst occur. For they are determined to hold on to the last flower of hope in the shadows and degradation: their precious children, who they pray will live to tell their story when they no longer can. (publisher)

The book is about Eva and Sofie who first meet at the Theresienstadt concentration camp. They end up on the same train to Auschwitz, each with her own agenda. Eva wants to find her husband and Sofie wants to find her cousin who hid her son.

When Eva realizes that she is pregnant, everything changes. It’s not safe to be pregnant in a place like Auschwitz. Not the best start to life and I guess it’s down to a certain amount of luck too.
The friendship between Eva and Sofie was a great thing to see in a place like that.

The book has two timelines: the present which is 1942 and the past in 1938. The past chapters weren’t necessary in my opinion and skipped those a bit but otherwise, I really enjoyed the book and it’s well written.

3,5/5

Published: Bookouture (November 8, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan

Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan

December 1917. As World War I rages in Europe, twenty-four-year-old Ruby Wagner, the jewel in a prominent Philadelphia family, prepares for her upcoming wedding to a society scion. Like her life so far, it’s all been carefully arranged. But when her beloved older brother is killed in combat, Ruby follows her heart and answers the Army Signal Corps’ call for women operators to help overseas.

As one of the trailblazing “Hello Girls” deployed to war-torn France, Ruby must find her place in the military strata, fight for authority and respect among the Allied soldiers, and work to secure a victory for the cause. But balancing service to country is complicated further by a burgeoning relationship with army medic Andrew Carrigan.

What begins as a friendship forged on the front lines soon blossoms into something more, forcing Ruby to choose between the conventions of a well-ordered life back home, and the risk of an unknown future. (publisher)

Ruby Wagner is Philadelphian socialite whose parents weren’t thrilled when she joins Bell Telephone Company in 1917 as a switchboard operator for the army. Her mother especially has all planned out for her; marriage to Nathaniel, from a prominent Philadelphian family, being a wife and hostess. After Ruby’s brother gets killed in a battle, the whole family is devastated. When Ruby learns that Army Signals Corps are recruiting women to serve as a switchboard operator in France, she enlists. Her parents are not happy when they learn about that.

While in France get meets army medic, Andrew. When their friendship deepens Ruby starts to question her future marriage with Nathaniel.

This was an interesting read. I hadn’t read about the “Hello Girls” before so that was new. And for a change, it is WWI book instead of WWII.

Ruby was a likeable character who was a strong and determined woman. I liked seeing how Ruby and Andrew’s friendship grows into something else slowly. It wasn’t insta-love so yey.

I don’t know why I waited so long to read it. I really enjoyed it and was a well-written book. I’ve liked her previous books that I’ve read so I guess it wasn’t a surprise I liked this too.

4/5

Published: Lake Union Publishing (November 6, 2018)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley

reviews

Call Upon the Water by Stella Tillyard

Call Upon the Water by Stella Tillyard

I am an engineer and a measured man of the world. I prefer to weigh everything in the balance, to calculate and to plan. Yet my own heart is going faster than I can now count.

In 1649, Jan Brunt arrives in Great Britain from the Netherlands to work on draining and developing an expanse of marshy wetlands known as the Great Level. It is here in this wild country that he meets Eliza, a local woman whose love overturns his ordered vision. Determined to help her strive beyond her situation, Jan is heedless of her devotion to her home and way of life. When Eliza uses the education Jan has given her to sabotage his work, Eliza is brutally punished, and Jan flees to the New World.

In the American colonies, profiteers on Manatus Eyland are hungry for viable land to develop, and Jan’s skills as an engineer are highly prized. His prosperous new life is rattled, however, on a spring morning when a boy delivers a note that prompts him to remember the Great Level, and confront all that was lost there. Eliza has made it to the New World and is once again using the education Jan gave her to bend the landscape—this time to find her own place of freedom. (publisher)

Most of the book is told from Jan’s point of view, like writing a diary, about the love of his life Eliza. Towards the end of the book, we get Eliza’s point of view until it goes back to Jan for the last chapter. I thought it odd that it wasn’t back and forth the whole book. I would have liked to learn Eliza’s point of view from the start.

The book was well written but too slow-paced for me. It just dragged way too much. I didn’t connect with the characters and I wasn’t sure if Eliza really cared for anyone but herself.

I liked to learn more about Jan’s trade, which I knew nothing about. And I don’t usually read about Dutch people or this period.

3/5

Published: Atria (September 17, 2019)
Format: ebook
Source: publisher

reviews

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Goodbye for Now by M.J. Hollows

Two brothers, only one survives.

As Europe is torn apart by war, two brothers fight very different battles, and both could lose everything…

While George has always been the brother to rush towards the action, fast becoming a boy-soldier when war breaks out, Joe thinks differently. Refusing to fight, Joe stays behind as a conscientious objector battling against the propaganda.

On the Western front, George soon discovers that war is not the great adventure he was led to believe. Surrounded by mud, blood and horror his mindset begins to shift as he questions everything he was once sure of.

At home in Liverpool, Joe has his own war to win. Judged and imprisoned for his cowardice, he is determined to stand by his convictions, no matter the cost.

By the end of The Great War only one brother will survive, but which? (publisher)

George and Joe are brothers who at the break of World War I make very different decisions. George can’t wait to go to war and has a bit romanticized view of the war. Joe, on the other hand, is a pacifist who refuses to raise a hand to kill others. Their father is a Boer War veteran who doesn’t take Joe’s beliefs kindly.

Both brothers admit that they’re never been close and don’t have much in common, but they are concerned for each other’s well-being during the war which was great to see.

It was interesting to read about Joe’s time at home because I haven’t read much about the men who refused to go to war or the people’s treatment of conscientious objectors. He was branded as a coward, but I admire him for standing up to something he believed in.

It was a great debut book from the author and I really enjoyed reading it.

3/5

Published: HQ Digital (October 12, 2018)
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

reviews

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

For Rose Enright, enrolling in a prestigious New England boarding school is the opportunity of a lifetime. But for Rose’s vulnerable twin sister Bel, Odell Academy is a place of temptation and danger. When Bel falls in with a crowd of wild rich kids who pressure her into hazing Rose, the sisters’ relationship is shattered. Rose turns to her dorm mother, Sarah Donovan, for advice. But Bel turns to Sarah’s husband Heath, a charismatic and ambitious teacher. Is Heath trying to help Bel or take advantage of her? In a world of privilege, seduction, and manipulation, only one sister will live to tell the truth.

In a novel full of twists, turns, and dark secrets, Michele Campbell once again proves her skill at crafting intricately spun and completely compelling plots. (publisher)

When their mother dies, twins Rose and Bel move in with their grandmother who they barely know. They are sent to The Odell Academy, a boarding school for the rich kids, where the academic Rose fits right in, but the wilder Bel becomes friends with the popular kids, but the friendship comes with a price. Bel has a crush on Heath Donovan, an ambitious teacher, which sets her against the older popular kids.

The book has some Gossip Girl vibes and I have to say that I hated all the characters. I wanted to know what happens but didn’t feel much sympathy for any of the people.

The book starts with a murder, but we don’t know who died or who did it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t too difficult to guess who it was, but it takes the cops waay to much time to get it or understand at all what goes on in the school. So much eye-rolling here…

It was a solid read, but I had higher hopes for this one.

3/5

Published: St. Martin’s Press (July 31, 2018)
Format: ebook
Source: Netgalley