Thursday, February 24, 2011

Those Who Save Us

After Heather's review of "Those Who Save Us", I was excited to start reading it. I'm not sure why, but the Holocaust / WWII is fascinating. It may stem back to 7th grade, when we did almost an entire year study on the topic. Maybe it is because I cannot believe people were so cruel, and Hitler had so much power. 

Either way - this book grabbed me from the second I picked it up. This book has dual story lines - which I both love and hate. I love - because it gives very different perspectives. I hate - because right when I'm dying to know what happens next, it skips to the other perspective, in this case - a whole different decade. 

The story is about Anna and Trudy - mother and daughter who live and have lived very different lives. Anna grows up in Germany and has a harsh entry into WWII life. Trudy is born into this life, and doesn't learn all the details of her past until she embarks on her own German studies project through her work at a university.  

 Anna needs to save herself and her daughter, so she must obey the commands of a Nazi officer who visits frequently, hating what she must do to survive. It is crazy to read about the life of Anna. Of Germany in WWII, Nazi soldiers, the realities of life for Germans and Jews. Then to swap back to almost present day (1997) - where Trudy is struggling to get her mother to open up about her past, and begins her project interviewing Germans who also lived through the war, and how they feel about what happened. 

This story was addictive, moving, and, as Heather notes, Powerful. Those Who Save Us are people you may not expect to be saving or helping you. And you may even be the one saving someone else without realizing it. 

I read this on a kindle app, which I've never done before. It was weird to not be able to know how far into the book you were at first glance. Yes, you can highlight the bottom and see your page progress, but it's not the same. This was especially tricky at the end - when I turned the page for the next chapter and realized I was finished. I was sad, really. I wanted to know more about what happened next, how it turned out. Guess it's up to my imagination to decide. 

Also - Would not be surprised if we see this in the theaters soon.

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