Jackie's Reviews > No One is Here Except All of Us

No One is Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel
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Feb 08, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: work-review-related-reading
Read in February, 2012

First they see bomber planes fly over their houses at the beginning of WWII. Then a refugee who threw herself into the river after seeing her husband and children killed washes up on their riverbank. Aghast at what they learn from her, this small village of 102 people decide that the best way to avoid the horror that was clearly coming was to create their own world. They already live on a peninsula, so only one small spot on the river needs to be hidden and they can start anew. That is
indeed what they do, but it isn't as easy as it seemed. It forces some pretty crazy realignments involving commerce and family/social arrangements. It even changes their religion. But, alas, the past cannot be completely erased, and they could not hide forever.

This is a very odd but engrossing tale about dreams, reality, memory, community, family, love, faith, survival and, above all, storytelling. The ugly and the beautiful are both presented in a quiet, simple prose that hides the profundity of its message. At times it can take your breath away with all the innocence and awfulness mixing together. There are parts of this novel that will haunt me for a long, long time. More so because I know that this story is based on the author's family history. In short, this is an amazing book.
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