My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was a really enjoyable book placed in the times of the Holocaust. These books are always hard to read but I really enjoy and feel that its necessary to understand what went on in those times. While the author is very clear that the events in the book are fictional, she does state that the suffering of the Jewish people in the camp is true to history, and I think she does a good job at portraying that without being incredibly graphic. The book follows the main character of Stella and is a story based on the story of Esther in the Bible. Stella is a Jew in Dachau concentration camp but was taken with false papers showing her as Aryan. Aric, the new commander of a different camp, sees Stella and is drawn to her strength despite the circumstances and finding the inconsistency in her paperwork, frees her from the camp and gives her the position of his secretary. She travels with him to the new camp and finds her uncle Morty there, and also becomes attached to the Jewish houseboy Aric "saved" from the camp. She feels torn between her new feelings for Aric, who seems unlike other SS officers, and her loyalty to her people, and risks her own safety to help save some of her people. The parallels between the story of Stella and the story of Esther are obvious, and the author includes a verse from the book of Esther at the beginning of each chapter to help guide the reader in those parallels. The story of Stella is interesting enough without adding the twist of the similarities to the book of Esther, but it is an interesting comparison. The story and characters drew me in and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how Stella would succeed at being the Jews' "salvation" as they call her. The ending was a satisfying twist. I'd recommend this book to romance and intrigue readers as well as those interested in the Holocaust in a less graphic description. For hardcore studiers of the Holocause it may not give anything very new but its a great intro to the Holocaust for those not as well read on it, or who prefer not to read the more distressing graphic accounts. I appreciated that the author took the time at the end to discuss the fact and fiction of the novel.
I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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