Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

The Path Divided by Jeanne Moran

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A few years back, I enjoyed reading Jeanne Moran’s children’s novel Risking Exposure (see review here). I was thrilled to hear from her about reading and reviewing her next title in this series: The Path Divided. The Path Divided continues where Risking Exposure left off and tells the rest of the story of Rennie, Sophie, Werner, and Erich. Moving from the present years to WWII, we see the rest of the story for these four teens in Germany.

I truly enjoyed this story, and while it is sad, it drives home the point that the choices we make in life, and their consequences, are ours to keep.

Thank you so much for an e-copy to review, Ms. Moran!

Here’s the overview from Amazon:

Every choice has a consequence.

When a magical picture frame reveals the danger facing a teenage traitor, her best friend hatches a plan to sneak her out of Nazi Germany. Options are few. Choices are desperate.

Decades later, an aged Nazi hiding under an alias plans to die with his secrets intact. Confronted with his role in the fate of his sister and her best friend, he must decide: maintain his charade or face the consequences of the path he chose so long ago.

In this powerful conclusion to Risking Exposure, interwoven tales of guilt, sacrifice, and hope crack the divide between personal safety and loyalty to those we claim to love.

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Review: LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly

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If you know me, you know I love WWII stories. I picked this one from Net Galley and it was wonderful. At times both touching and heart breaking, this is an unforgettable story about three young women in three different places during the war whose paths converge.

Here’s what Net Galley has to say:

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Review: THE NAZI OFFICER’S WIFE by Edith Hahn Beer with Susan Dworkin

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While at BEA, I met Susan Dworkin and got a signed copy of her book. The subtitle to this novel is “How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust”. This was a fascinating story about how Edith, a young Jewish woman in Vienna, survived WWII through an incredible series of circumstances, including, at one point, being married to a German officer and being a “hausfrau”.

Edith was born in Vienna in 1914 into a well-to-do and educated Jewish family. She always wanted to study law and was doing so when she was denied her final exams and degree because she was Jewish. She and her family were sent to the ghetto and then she was sent to a labor camp, working first on a farm and then in a paper factory. She survived harsh conditions for months, then escaped as she was being sent “home” (she realized it was to a concentration camp). Edith hid for a while, then borrowed a brave friend’s identity papers and went to Germany, getting a job at the Red Cross and passing herself off as Christian. There she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi officer. He wanted to marry her, but Edith felt she must reveal her true self to him first. Vetter and she married and she lived as a housewife until the war was over. While this is much more a summary than I usually give, believe me, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in this book. The amount of scary circumstances, the coincidences, the heartfelt yearning she had for her mother, her life of living a lie – plus all the events post WWII, well it made for fascinating and inspiring reading.

The story reads as a memoir, with Edith’s voice strongly standing out. You can picture her telling her story to Ms. Dworkin as you read. It was published about 15 years ago, though I had never come across it. A documentary was also made on Edith’s life, but it looks like it only aired in the UK. Edith Hahn Beer died in 2009.

You can find this book at an Indie near you — I am an Indie Bound Affiliate. Read it and be inspired.


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HFV Book Tour of RISKING EXPOSURE by Jeanne Moran

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I’m happy today to be part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour for Jeanne Moran’s YA novel: RISKING EXPOSURE.

In this story, teenager Sophie lives in Munich, Germany during the late 1930’s. She is a talented photographer and an active member of the Hitler Youth. Sophie has some qualms of conscience about the Reich’s activities, especially when her Jewish friend is suddenly no longer in touch with her. Then Sophie suffers the devastating effects of polio. She spends months recuperating in a hospital with other patients. She is stunned to learn that they are seen as useless burdens on society. When she is asked to use her photography skills to highlight the work of the Hitler Youth activities, she has to decide whether she will work along with them, or risk everything to show the truth.

This was a quick and engaging read. The story is less than 200 pages and would be a good choice for reluctant readers in the classroom. While I did not like the lack of closure at the end, I see that there will be a sequel coming which I’m sure will answer some of the “but what happens??” questions. One of the most interesting things in this book, to me, was the perspective of a German youth during the first part of WWII. It is rare that I read from the German perspective and it’s good to get a glimpse of what life was like for the regular people of that time.

Here’s what HFVBTours has to say:

Publication Date: September 2013
CreateSpace
Formats: eBook, Paperback
186 Pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Young Adult

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Munich, 1938, Nazi Germany. War is on the horizon. A timid Hitler Youth member contracts polio. Photographs she takes of fellow polio patients are turned into propaganda, mocking people with disabilities. She is now an outsider, a target of Nazi scorn and possible persecution. Her only weapon is her camera.

This well-researched historical fiction novel unveils a seldom-seen side of the Nazi agenda. A sequel is in the works.

Praise for Risking Exposure

“…an engaging, well written, thought provoking book. It reminds us of the responsibility we have to one another.”

“The story is true to history and would be ideal for a classroom studying this time period.”

“…you find yourself think thinking of the young character, Sophie, long after the last page.”

“… lets us see a world in which we know what happened, but Sophie does not yet. Our knowledge makes us want to read to the very last word–and wish the story would continue.”

“This book felt like I was reading a biography, the characters and story were all very real. Risking Exposure was certainly geared towards young adults, but this story captivated me from the beginning til the end – so it most certainly can hold the attention of an adult audience.”

“Ms. Moran is opening the door to this thought: if more (maybe only a handful more) people stood up and did small things too, could some of the awful suffering of this era been averted or lessened? And more poignantly, how about today? The book ratifies the importance of small actions done with love, bravery, and purpose.”

“Sophie is still on my mind days after finishing this book.”

”…the book was a beautiful collection of thoughts, historically accurate bits of data, and a easy read in terms of the flowing writing style, but deals with a lot of heavy topics in a censored way. This is definitely a great book to study, for school students, as it’s written in a simplistic yet effective writing style, and provides a brilliant coming-of-age story for all types of audiences.”

“There is so much to talk about in Sophie’s story – – what we accept as normal, what society thinks of its less able-bodied citizens, whether one person can really make a difference… we read it for our own book club discussion next month — and we’re all well past our teen-age years, so that shows the power of this small gem.”

Buy the Book

Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)
iTunes
IndieBound
Kobo
Smashwords

About the Author

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Jeanne Moran reads and writes stories in which unlikely heroes make a difference in their corner of the world. In her everyday life, she strives to be one of them.

For more information visit Jeanne Moran’s website.  You can also find her on Facebook,Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Risking Exposure Blog Tour Schedule – Follow the Tour!

Monday, May 4
Review at 100 Pages a Day – Stephanie’s Book Reviews
Spotlight & Excerpt at Shelf Full of Books

Tuesday, May 5
Spotlight at Cheryl’s Book Nook

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Mel’s Shelves
Spotlight & Excerpt at Historical Fiction Connection

Thursday, May 7
Spotlight at Broken Teepee

Friday, May 8
Review at Book Babe

Monday, May 11
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, May 12
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 13
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, May 14
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book

Friday, May 15
Review at Genre Queen

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