Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS by @MahurinPaulette #WWII #HistFic

Today’s team review is from Wendy, she blogs at http://booklovercircumspect4.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Wendy has been reading The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

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This is a story that involves a Jewish teenager, Helen Stein, and her family who lived through Hitler’s deranged views of annihilating the Jewish population. Helen was born during the early stages of Hitler’s rise to power. As a younger child, Helen was shielded from most of what was happening in her country by her parents. However, Helen had a friend who had joined Hitler’s army as a young man and kept Helen informed of what was going on. As Hitler’s power grew, so did his relentless pursuit against the Jews and Helen’s family has no choice but to face what is happening in their country and to their culture.

Helen was able to evade capture by Hitler’s army for a period of time but was eventually found and taken to Auschwitz. To keep through the early times of Hitler’s reign, Helen learned to sew to help supplement her family’s income. Because of this, she was able to live upon her arrival to Auschwitz, was tattooed, and endured several hours of hard labor every day, was given little edible food, and forced to sleep in unimaginable living conditions.

Although Hitler and his army was able to force Helen and others into these conditions, he couldn’t take away Helen’s will to live and her ability to see the good in others that were also there. This is what helped Helen throughout her time in Auschwitz until she was later freed. Hitler’s army tried to cover up what they had done but it was Helen and other survivors that were a true testimony to what had occurred to them. Thankfully, allowing many of Hitler’s soldiers to be held accountable for their actions. Helen was able to leave Auschwitz and relocated to America. This is just one story of many Jewish survivors of this horrific period in our history.

The story is very well-written and it was as if I was with Helen throughout the story and enduring her pain and heartache along with her. I couldn’t put this book down and read it in one night. I actually had to wait a few days to write a review as the book has really touched me deeply. I would highly recommend this book to others.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com also available free from Kindle Unlimited

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS by @MahurinPaulette #WW2 #fridayreads

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

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The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I always head straight for books set in World War 2, and this book has so many good reviews that I couldn’t wait to start it. I’m afraid I was a little disappointed by it, though there is much to commend, too.

In the present day, student Myra rents a room from Helen Stein; after a while, Helen reveals all that she suffered as a Jewish girl living in Berlin during the war and, later, in Auschwitz. I thought the parts in the concentration camp seemed the best researched, treated with sensitivity, not sensationalised, and would certainly serve as an education for anyone who doesn’t know about the atrocities commited by the SS.   The build up of anti-semitic feeling in Germany is portrayed well, as is the bond Helen formed with a friend in Auschwitz. Earlier on, though, there are parts that seem unlikely, at best.

Helen’s friend Max is homosexual. As a thirteen year old, he talks about this to Helen. I doubt very much whether a boy of that age from a traditional family background in early 1930s Europe would have even acknowledged such sexual preferences to himself, let alone talked freely about them. There were other attitudes and phrases that I felt came from a more modern era. I also doubted that Max would have had access, later, to the high level German campaign secrets that he revealed to Ben and Helen. Then there is the bear rooting about in the ‘trash cans’ outside the farm buildings in Brandenburg. There have not been wild bears in Germany for nearly 200 years (I looked it up).

The other thing I wasn’t keen on was the sexually orientated passages, which I thought were tacky; it’s possible to write about a girl becoming a woman, and longing for love, etc, without it reading as though it’s aimed to titillate.

There is a fair bit of historical fact woven into the novel, some convincingly, other parts clumsily. I liked the epilogue, I thought it was a nicely written, suitably poignant ending. I can see from the Amazon sites that this novel has been received very well by many, and I wouldn’t not recommend it, but for me it was just okay.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

 

Guest author Carmen Stefanescu

Today my guest is Carmen Stefanescu, please join me in welcoming her to the blog and learning a little more about this author.

1) Tell me your name
Carmen Stefanescu
2) Where do you live?
Romania, better known as Dracula’s country, in Eastern Europe.
3)When did you start writing?
I started writing short satirical poems as a student. Then short stories. All were in my native tongue Romanian, as I am not a native English speaker. I lived all my life in Romania, known to many as Dracula’s country. After the fall of dictatorship in 1989, things changed a bit and the access to the Internet and the opening to the world helped me start publishing. Poems in English, first. Some of them were selected for a collection of contemporary English poems, Muse Whispers, and were published in 2001 and 2002. Now novels.

4)What type of books do you like writing the most?
Paranormal. I am fond of ghosts, reincarnation, past lives and karmic retribution. Not vampires even if I live in Dracula’s country. I believe that our soul is immortal. Should it be my fear of the eternity of nothingness? May be! I can’t really say.

5)Pass on 3 tips about writing or publishing.
1-Keep your writing clear and coherent, and avoid pretentious or overly formal language.
2-Ask someone else to read your writing and critique it.
3- Select the strongest nouns and verbs before you select adjectives and adverbs.
And above all: Read! Write! Read and write!
6)What was the last book that you read? How would you rate it?
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin. 5 stars.
7)Now choose just one of your books and add a link to it.
Shadows of the Past.
http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=84&products_id=410
or
http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-of-the-Past-ebook/dp/B00AK2D9I8/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354874514&sr=1-15&keywords=shadows+of+the+past
Thank you for hosting my interview!
Carmen

Dear readers,

If you don’t know already, I’m taking part in the A to Z Challenge which starts on Monday (apologies to everyone who already know!) Please drop by and read my posts as I blog about books for 26 days in April using the alphabet.

Thanks

Rosie