Four books read in June. That seems like a low number to me, but then, that is one book per week, so maybe it is a lot to have been read! Only one book of the four was disappointing to me, so that's not a bad average. Here's what I read:
1) Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly: I really wish that I had paid attention to what was written on the back of the book (softcover). I'll tell you why-I didn't realize that the book was based on real people's lives. That would have made the book even more interesting.
The book is about the Rabbits-people who were part of Mengele's experiments in Ravensbruck, which is where Kasia and Herta met, Kasia as a prisoner and Herta as a doctor in the camp. Kasia was one of the Rabbits.
It is a hard book to read, as is any book about the concentration camp experiences. It is very well-written and thought-provoking, revealing secrets long hidden about the camps.
"...a lilac only blossoms after a harsh winter."
2) the light we lost by Jill Santopolo. This book has been hailed as one of the best of 2017. I was disappointed. The premise sounded good, but fell flat for me.
3) Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. This was a book group read and I really had no interest in reading it, but since it was for book group, I read it. And that is why I love book group-the books chosen to read are often not what I would pick up and so I am forced to read out of my comfort zone, so to speak. And it is always a good thing for me to have to do. In this case, I read the book and loved it!
The book began in an un-named Middle Eastern country where Saeed and Nadia met. They began seeing each other, and soon Saeed convinced Nadia to move in with him and his father after his mother died. However, the city was under lots of violent conflict and the couple learned of a "door" that for the right price would take them to another country. They had to travel that way several times as violence would escalate through-out different cities. Saeed's father refused to go with them when they left:
"...but that is the way of things, for when we migrate, we murder from our lives those we leave behind."The writing in this story is incredible. I highly recommend this book.
4) and the last book read in June was Mischling by Affinity Konar. Oddly, it is also a book about the concentration camps, this time taking place in Auschwitz, and Dr. Mengele. The story is about his experiments with twins. It is horrifying, and gripping.
Pearl and Sasha were taken to Auschwitz with their mother and their grandfather. Because they were twins, they were separated from their mother and grandfather and immediately taken to Dr. Mengele's "Zoo" where other twins were kept.
"And this is where I don't remember. This is where I want to wander my mind back and under, past the smell, past the thump-bump of the boots and the suitcases, toward some semblance of a good-bye. Because we should have seen our loves go missing, we should have been able to watch them leave us, should have known the precise moment of our loss."
Horrible, horrible things were done at the Zoo as Mengele conducted his awful twin experiments. He wanted to learn if it was possible to break the twin bond, the twin feeling for the other twin. The girls survived camp life with help from others until the winter when Pearl disappeared. She is presumed to have been killed by Mengele, but Sasha would not believe she was gone. After the camp was liberated, Sasha continued to search for Pearl. The twin bond was never broken. Mengele failed.
This book is about so much...love, resistance, resilience, survival, family. Great book. By the way, Mischling is a term that was "used by the Third Reich to denote a person of mixed blood."
So, did you notice anything different in the blog? Yes, I finally figured out how to put the images of the books on the blog! It only took me 6 months and all of a sudden, I knew how to do it!