Monday, September 13, 2010

Anne's pick for October

Those Who Save Us
By Jenna Blum

Family secrets of Nazi Germany are at the core of this powerful first novel told in two narratives that alternate between New Heidelberg, Minnesota, in the present, and the small town of Weimar near Buchenwald during World War II. Trudy is a professor of German history in Minnesota, where she's teaching a seminar on women's roles in Nazi Germany and conducting interviews with Germans about how they're dealing with what they did during the war. But her mother, Anna, won't talk about it, not even to her own daughter. Trudy knows, she remembers, that Anna was mistress to a big Nazi camp officer. Why did she do it? Was he Trudy's father? The interviews are a plot contrivance to introduce a range of attitudes, from blatant racism to crippling survivor guilt. But the characters, then and now, are drawn with rare complexity, including a brave, gloomy, unlucky rescuer and a wheeler-dealer survivor. Anna's story is a gripping mystery in a page-turner that raises universal questions of shame, guilt, and personal responsibility. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2004 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

1 comment:

Lauri said...

I am not sure where to start with this book.
I didn't like that there is not one quotation mark in the whole book. I don't really like that style of writing.
I haven't read a Nazi book in years because it gives me bad dreams. This was not an exception. I don't like reading about true evil.
I was half way through the book before I even kind of liked any characters in it. I hated all the men and didn't real like any of the women.
I almost stopped after the first chapter when it ended so sadly. But since it was a book club book I continued reading. The book had an unsatisfying ending. I kept hoping it could redeem itself by the end, but was disappointed.

Favorite Quote p.24
"I'm just startled by how well you put it. It's like being in a sort of club, isn't it? A bereavement club. You don't choose to join it; it's thrust upon you. And the members whose lives have been changed have more knowledge than those who aren't in it, but the price of belonging is so terribly high.