Thank you for joining me for N day. Today let’s talk about Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Is there anyone who doesn’t love this beautiful little book?
As you can see, Bailey, my pooch, loves the book too!
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.
There are so many great stories of regular people caring for Jews who were brutalized during the war. Here’s one young people can understand and relate to. Lowry is an expert at telling stories from a kids’ perspective.
Believe it or not, I don’t always read kids books. To be sure, I read ALOT of books for kids but I also enjoy reading adult novels. I’ve just recently learned to like thrillers and today I downloaded The Bleiberg Project for free from Amazon.
Here’s what it’s about:
Are Hitler’s atrocities really over? Find out in this adrenaline-pumping ride to save the world from a conspiracy straight out of the darkest hours of history.
1942, Poland. The head of the SS meets secretly with a scientist in charge of a major Third Reich project.
Present day. After another late night with yet another woman whose name he doesn’t remember, self-pitying golden boy trader Jay Novacek learns that his long-lost father has died, precipitating events that lead him to board a plane to Zurich. He’s got a Nazi medallion in his pocket, a hot CIA bodyguard next to him, and a clearly dangerous Mossad agent on his tail. What was his father investigating? Why was his mother assassinated? Why are unknown sides fighting over him with automatic weapons? Far from his posh apartment, he races to save the world from a horrific conspiracy. Can it be stopped?
Sounds sort of Jason Bourne, doesn’t it?
If you hurry you can get it FREE today on Amazon. Cuz I got the inside scoop for ya.
So This is Paris: Thanks to my belle amie at Le French Book for sharing this thriller with us!
So here we come to the final installment of the Passing Bells trilogy, with A Future Arrived.
I’m sad to see the series end. To be sure, I have mixed feelings about the trilogy. Touted as a companion to Downton Abbey, it’s almost completely different from Downton Abbey in that there is less about the lives of the servants downstairs and more about the lives of the beautiful and rich upstairs. But that alone, is not a reason to discount the trilogy. If you yearn for the recent historical past, you’ll love this series too.
I love a writer who can keep up with all of the character’s lives, introduce new characters and not get too convoluted in the telling and merging of their stories. I believe Rock has done this well. Now, in book three, I am reminded of why I liked or hated the characters from book 1, but am still able to enjoy the lives of the newer characters as they struggle with the similar problems of war. The grandson of Lord Greville is now a main character, as well as the young brother in law of our favorite reporter, American cousin Martin Rilke. The Grevilles have stopped yearning for the Edwardian days and have accepted the future and the mixing of social classes. Not that they really had a choice.
During the course of the series I’ve learned the ins and outs that led up to World War I. I feel as if I’ve become an expert. I also feel like I was experiencing life in the trenches and on the streets of London. Post WWI I feel as if I was taking a slight vacation and allowed to have a little fun and relax. I was also aware that WWII would come and I wasn’t sure how Rock would introduce our characters to it. Rock did not disappoint, he provided a thorough look at how life can be ruined by war. Interestingly enough, given that I learned about war was from the American viewpoint, I feel as if I have a broader understanding of how ugly and devastating war is.
If you don’t like war stories or need a bit more of an emotional setting, this is not the book for you, but if you want to develop relationships with characters, this trilogy will satisfy you just fine.
Close your eyes and visualize with me for a minute. France, 1930s, and women. What comes to mind? Do you think of:
The Eiffel Tower? Yes. What about:
Do you think about fashionable french women?
But what about Hitler? Death Camps? Antisemitism? War or resistance?
These are topics you probably don’t naturally associate with France unless you know your French history.
A train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead, provides one of the most thorough investigations into women’s roles during the German occupation in World War II. It is incredible to discover that regular women, housewives and mothers, became resistors to the war effort.
These brave and clever women made bombs, transported secret documents, and organized clandestine meetings right underneath the watchful German eye during the occupation of France.
These are the faces of powerful young women in France during the 1930s.
These incredible women performed acts that they knew were dangerous and could and would and did cost some of them their lives. But they did them anyway. They hid their children with relatives. They often lived nomadic lives rarely sleeping in the same home twice. And what I find most incredible about this? They did not have the modern conveniences we have today. There was no hairdryer or take out when they were hungry and needed a quick bite. They couldn’t text a girlfriend to see if they could sleep at her apartment. There was no GPS to track where their loved ones were being held prisoner.
None of that. But yet they persisted because they fought for what they believed in. Many of these women were sent to concentration camps for being a Jewess or helping Jews or for resisting the Nazi occupation. They were beaten, gassed, shot, or worse. Some of these women formed friendships during this incredibly difficult time.
So what can you take away from a fact heavy book like this? That being a woman is not limiting, regardless of your situation or the time period in which you live. It takes a bunch of ordinary women to make something extraordinary happen. A train in Winter will force you to look at French women differently.
Perhaps you will catch some of their joi de vivre?
I give A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead four paws for its powerful depiction of women fighting for Jewish rights.