Book review: Those Who Save Us / Jenna Blum
Jenna Blum has been writing short stories since she was 16. Several of them have been published. “Those who save us” is her first novel. The book has been on various bestseller lists and has been nominated for several awards.
For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy’s sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald. Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother’s life.
The characters are put down very well, you really start to feel for them. Getting angry a bit at Anna for not telling her daughter more, but understanding too that she simply wants to forget what has happened. I found it very interesting to read a book from this perspective as most of WWII books are about survivors of camps, people in the resistance or people from other countries and how they got trough the war. I think it is very well put and gives a clear view what a human being will do to survive.
The book will be able to call for some negative feelings too though so you have to be able to really put things in the right place while reading.
“You are such a young and childish country, believing that one can better understand the injuries of the past by wallowing in them and analyzing their causes. You do not know enough to understand that the only way to heal a wound is to leave it alone. To let sleeping dogs lie, as it were, rather than enthusiastically kicking them as you do.”—Those Who Save Us, Jenna Blum
“For one of the odd things about death, Trudy has discovered, is that in its wake one must go about business as usual; it seems heartless and wrong, but now that the rituals of mourning have been attended to, the sole task left to Trudy is to try and comprehend the enormity of these sudden change.”
― Jenna Blum, Those Who Save Us
Those Who Save Us
“She can never tell him what she started to say: that we come to love those who save us. For although Anna does believe this is true, the word that stuck in her throat was not save but shame.”
I think I’m going for a Nazi Germany theme with my books this year … This book was really good because it was told from the point of view of the Germans in World War II, specifically a German woman which isn’t something you really see.
It’s interesting to read about the things that the people did to keep themselves alive - they were starving and scared too, can their actions be justified? Can we ever really know what we would do in the same situation seeing as we have the gift of hindsight? Very interesting.
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The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
Faces of Fear - John Saul
Reckless - Cornelia Funke
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone - JK Rowling
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
Riding in Cars With Boys: Confessions of a Bad Girl Who Makes Good - Beverly Donofrio
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend - Matthew Green
Atonement - Ian McEwan
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif - Najaf Mazari & Robert Hillman
Sarah’s Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - JK Rowling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - JK Rowling
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
Deadlocked - Charlaine Harris
Those Who Save Us - Jenna Blum