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Finding Rebecca: A Novel of Love and the Holocaust
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Finding Rebecca: A Novel of Love and the Holocaust

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4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  1,208 ratings  ·  175 reviews
The prisoners in Auschwitz called it Canada, the land of unimaginable riches, where the last possessions of those who perished in the gas chambers were gathered and counted. Christopher is the new head of Canada, the ‘Dollar King.’ He is the one who controls the river of dirty money flowing through the camp. But Christopher is on a different mission. He is not in Auschwitz ...more
Kindle Edition, 428 pages
Published November 3rd 2012 by Amazon
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The Female Gerund Phenomenon
62nd out of 172 books — 21 voters
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The Holocaust - Fiction and Non
120th out of 127 books — 40 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Angela M

As it is in most books about the holocaust, there are scenes in this book that are so difficult to read but it is rightly so. Even after so many years, it is still so important that we are reminded of these horrific acts. Mothers are torn from their children; women are herded off the trains and told they would be reunited with their children after their shower which we know was the gas chamber; children are shot at point blank range. We need to remember that even though this is a novel, these th
...more
Michele Whitecotton
This book was like a rare gem that you aren't looking for, but just stumble across by mistake. I had never heard of it or the author before and it showed up on the free kindle book list one day. I'm usually not a fan of love stories but I'm facinated by the Holocaust so I decided to give it a shot and it turned into one of the best books I've read in a long time. It wasn't a cheesy-romance kind of love story, it was a beautiful heartbreaking love story that spans several decades. It literally br ...more
Shannon
I just finished Finding Rebecca and all I can say is "WOW". It was extremely hard to read some of the scenes, and not because they were overly graphic, but because it left a mental picture, and a feeling of overwhelming sadness to think that this really did happen. And it was just a small glimpse of the horror that took so many innocent lives. I think that everyone should read this book, and never forget what kind of brutality really went on at those concentration camps. Well done Mr. Dempsey!
Nicole Overmoyer
Eoin Dempsey’s historical novel FINDING REBECCA is the sort of book you really want to be real. You want to have some confidence that a real human being somewhere in time did the things that the character he’s created did in the time and place he put them. But even knowing that Dempsey’s creation is fictional, that these things are products of imagination put into a series of real events – this is enough to remind you that life isn’t always cut and dry and still, in the end, sometimes the good g ...more
Sharon Jones
Lately I have been interested in history/fiction novels and specifically those about WWI and WWII. My education as a young girl was deficient in the history past Christopher Columbus and very deficient regarding European history.

I have read a number of books trying to ascertain why the wars began; what brought people to that place, what motivated them and what their lives were. Now that I have read enough to allow me the knowledge of the why, I now want to read about people and their experience
...more
Laurie
Mar 23, 2013 Laurie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This is lovely love story set against the backdrop of the horrors of WWII. I wanted to rate it higher, but I found the writing stilted at times, and often did not feel the emotions the author was trying to portray. A little more polishing and better editing could make this a great book instead of just a good book.
Stephanie
I have to say that I was moved to tears and anguish at the atrocities of the Nazi Camps that are described in this story. The authors does not hold back on the brutality and utter evil of the Nazi SS. This is probably the most profound, emotional historical fiction book on World War II that I have read in a long time. At first I had to take the story in small dosages. Not because it wasn’t written well. Quite the contrary. The story was told so well that as I said above, I was moved to tears…

Eac
...more
Linda Harper
Chilling

One of those books which should be required reading for all Americans over sixteen. We all need to be reminded of the atrocities levied on innocent people simply because of their race. If our younger generation isn't educated about these true events it can happen again. It's a terrible, chilling, achingly difficult book to read but please read it and recommend it to your friends. It's distressing to realize there are people out there who are denying the killing of millions ever happened
...more
Sarah
Wow! What a diamond of a book! It's powerful in its Holocaust brutality, in its vivid emotions, and characters. If you're going to read any fictional book on the Holocaust, make it this one. To me, it's the epitome of what a Holocaust fictional book should be.

Now that mention of Holocaust brutality... Definitely keep that in mind while reading this. This book pulls no punches. It portrays the Holocaust exactly the way it was, with all the violence and evil that conveys. From gassings, shootings
...more
Wanda
This book really touched me - an insightful account of the dark history of the Holocaust.

The cattle trains arrived at the train station in Auschwitz. There were 1200 people on the train, built for cattle transport. The people huddled together on the train, their throats raw from thirst, and clinging to their children who would soon die. The SS went into the train with guns drawn and dead bodies were thrown out of the rail cars. The selection was started and two lines were formed, one of younger
...more
Susan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anne
Christopher is a refugee from Germany when he meets Rebecca, a Jewish girl on the Isle of Jersey off the English coast. For some reason the Germans occupy the island and manage to deport all the Jewish residents. Rebecca hides for a while but she is found out and deported to Germany where she toils in a concentration camp. Christopher returns home and manages to be placed at the same camp, Auschwitz, where the inmates call the area where they work sorting the things belonging to gassed Jewish an ...more
Bridget Kirk
Loved the story, but you do have to overlook more typos and errors than I would have expected. The end was a little weak, in my opinion.
Cindy
I probably make my way through about 10-15 kindle books for every one gem, and this is that one. I had such deep feelings about each of the characters, for their struggles, for their love, for the things they had to see around them. While it is probably considered largely a love story or a story about the Holocaust, for me it was more a story of never losing your true self, who you are inside, no matter what things life throws at you. It was about staying true to yourself. The author's words bro ...more
Victoria W.

I received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion, the thoughts reflected are my own.


I didn't enjoy this book but I give it 4 stars. That bears an explanation just like this book deserves a chance.

I have long found myself digging into novels based upon WWII and the people who lived during that time. Books that return voices to those who have lost them have always attracted me and there is no shortage of those in historical fiction.

Most novels I've read based upon this era
...more
Beth Peninger
Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this advanced copy. In exchange for a pre-publish copy I am giving an honest review.

I am drawn to stories from the World War II era, I can't seem to get away from them. It is especially fascinating when the story involves a person of Jewish heritage and of German descent. In this novel Dempsey delves into such a relationship.
Christopher and Rebecca live on Jersey, an island near the UK and remote from Christopher's native Germany. They met in
...more
Kimberley Hughes
3.5 . I liked this book but didn't fall in love with it.

This book could have been really something special, but it needed fleshing out a LOT more.

Books written about the Nazis and the Holocaust are available in the dozens, so a new book really needs to stand out. Unfortunately this one didn't, I can think of other fiction novels about this horrible period in history, which are better.

Like I said this started off great, the love story was (could have been) perfect. A Jewish woman and a German
...more
Mary Anne
This was a love story, but not in the ordinary sense. The story follows Christopher & Rebecca from the time they met as children through a decade after WWII. Their love endured through hardships imposed by their families & by the horrors of the holocaust. This was also an historical novel and showed the hardships endured by a German family who had not lived in Germany for many years but were branded as German Nazis irregardless of their political views. Then there were the hardships of a ...more
Julie Dalrymple
I came across this book by accident and it pulled me in from the beginning. It's a gorgeous, heartbreaking story, difficult to read, but ultimately thoroughly satisfying. It's a story that will stick with you, make you appreciate all you have in life and provide a better understanding of the horrors that took place during the holocaust.
Peggy Roberson
Never before have I been so totally blown away by a book in my life as I have by this one!!! Although the story line isn't pretty, it will permeate your soul. By the time you finish the book, you will feel as if you had been there yourself. There are many twists and turns along the way, but hold on tight, and go along for the ride. You won't be sorry that you did!!! Thank You, Mr. Dempsey, for keeping History alive in such an interesting way. You truly worked magic with this book, and I'll be lo ...more
Avi
What a fantastic book! I enjoyed it so much I didn't want it to end. A must for anyone who enjoys historical fiction/romance from this time period :)
Rachel
Christopher discovered Rebecca one day in 1924 when he was six years old. She had escaped from her abusive father and alcoholic mother. Christopher and his father and sister, newly arrived from Germany to the island of Jersey (and English colony off the coast of France), take her in without a moment's hesitation. From then on, Christopher and Rebecca are inseparable. As a teenager, she runs away to England to again escape her family and Christopher believes he has lost her. She eventually comes ...more
Bee
This book was beautiful. One of the few that made me cry.
Cece
As a fan of WW2 books I was looking forward to reading this book that I won on Goodreads. Was a story of a German born young man and his relationship to a childhood friend, who was a Jewish girl. Their families lived on Jersey, a British isle and instantly became friends with Christopher becoming her protector. The story follows them as the German soldiers began to take over their homes and their lives are forever changed. THe author takes us on a familiar story of the Holocaust, however, from a ...more
Dana
From the first page, Finding Rebecca was a powerful novel. The intelligent writing articulated the fears of both Germans and Jews on the eve of World War II in a way that made this seem like a memoir, not a novel. This multi-layered work was so much more than just a forbidden love story set against World War II. Instead, it became a story abouttrue love, lost love, survival, morality, humanity... I could go on and on.

The love that developed between Christopher and Rebecca was the fairy tale can'
...more
Cassandra.
Thank you, First Reads. I received this novel in exchange for my unbiased review. I give it 4 stars.
The story in told in time flashes, 1943 & back to 1924; 1935, 1939, 1941 & back to 1943, ending in 1954. It did get a bit confusing at times, 'specially in the beginning before I got to know the characters well.
The main character, Christopher, is a German-born boy whose mother was born on the Isle of Jersey. He & his family moved to Jersey. The novel tells of life on Jersey between war
...more
Angela Risner
Human behavior fascinates me, and I find that the horror of the Holocaust provides endless study of the best and worst of it. We should never forget the crimes committed then, and we should be ashamed that such crimes are still committed today. It is far too easy to slip into the mode of us vs. them.

Finding Rebecca follows the story of Christopher, a German-born citizen whose family resides on the English Channel island of Jersey, and Rebecca, whose family is French and Jewish (she was born and
...more
Deborah
Every time I read a story about the holocaust I find myself trying to understand how this could have happened and why no one stopped it and I embrace all those authors who continue to write stories set in this time so that a new generation will read them in the hope that no one will ever forget what happened in those camps. That aside, I found this story compelling and it kept me up at night hoping for these characters, understanding their desperation and admiring their resilience. The story is ...more
Robert Jones
A compelling and chilling read that once I got into it, I couldn't put down but it really, really needs a good professional editor. For instance, the word 'gotten' does not exist here in the UK but yet again we have a US author using this word in a story set in Britain. Please writers in the US, do your research and don't assume your syntax is the same as that used in the UK because it isn't and vice versa of course.

I found the book disjointed and oddly written in that the first third could have
...more
Nancy
This was a difficult book to read. The author pulls no punches when describing the horror of the Nazi concentration camps in World War II that make up the major portion of his story. As the book begins we meet Christopher, a German boy growing up on the Isle of Jersey and his friend Rebecca, a French Jew with an abusive, alcoholic father. The two young people fall in love and are separated by the war when Rebecca is sent to the camps. Christopher’s family is deported back to Germany where he bec ...more
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“understand one day. We all marry” 0 likes
“she didn’t react. “It will pass,” Rebecca assured him. “It will all be over by Christmas.” He took another swig of beer. He knew” 0 likes
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