Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bookshelf: Those Who Save Us

I read Those Who Save Us this week, a 2004 debut by Jenna Blum. Blum writes the dual storylines of Anna, a young woman during Nazi Germany, and the present-day trials of her daughter Trudy (a middle-aged German history professor) dealing with an aging Anna. Anna has not told Trudy anything about their escape from Germany, and Trudy's life has been tormented by this void of knowledge about her own history.

This book is not for the faint of heart, or youngish teenagers (scenes of torture, rape and other evils run throughout.) I think it's good especially because it brings a different angle to World War Two literature, which is hard to do. The characters are realistic and sad. It's a bittersweet book, leaning more towards bitter, but if you're an adultish reader and interested to see a good work of fiction, I recommend it. Just don't expect rainbows and unicorns.

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