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The Seven Year Dress

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4.17  ·  Rating details ·  2,511 ratings  ·  217 reviews
One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to t ...more
Kindle Edition, First Print, 336 pages
Published May 8th 2016 by Early Girl Enterprises, LLC
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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 ·  2,511 ratings  ·  217 reviews


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Malia
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was very moved by Mahurin's prior book, "To Live Out Loud", and though my expectations were high, "The Seven Year Dress" did not disappoint. Helen is a German girl, is a character I could instantly engage with, and I really wanted to know more of her story. We follow her movement though life as a normal girl with a good life, to someone in hiding, separate from much of her family, to a prisoner in a concentration camp and finally, a survivor of the war. It's not an easy book to read, but one I ...more
~Bookishly~
"The seven year dress" is a historical fiction book, which is based on a true account by Helen Stein, as told to the author. Any book which is based on the time of The Holocaust, is incredibly difficult to read about, let alone digest. This book is certainly no exception.

The author does a skillful job of presenting a story that is not only full of the true horrors of war, but has that bittersweet poignancy about it, too. Parts of this book, I found, extremely difficult to read, and obviously, w
...more
Dean
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of human freedoms-to choose one's attitude in any
given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.
Victor E. Frankl

The story of Helen Stein, a young beautiful teenager and his family, has left me drained and flabbergasted..
A jewish family that went through the fiery ordeal of the holocaust in nazi Germany!!
All her family murdered by the nazis..

Helen and his brother must hide..
The SS brutaly murdered his parents and an elder brother by
...more
J. Schlenker
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Seven Year Dress

I had previously read The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin. It was one of those books that stuck with you. I can say the same for her newest work, The Seven Year Dress. I bought the Kindle version, and even though I had several library books on my Kindle application that were due back I read The Seven Year Dress instead because after I read a couple of chapters I couldn’t put it down.

The main character, Helen Stein, is painted skillfully with delicate brush s
...more
Surabhi Sharma
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must read. A definite page-turner.

In 1919, Helen Stein born to a Jewish family in Berlin, Germany and raised with love with her three siblings. She is happy to find her best friend in Max; forced to play a role in the German army. The story weaved during the time of World War II. How a girl in Auschwitz tortured and tormented, seeing death and brutality, midst of blood bath and hypocrites mocking and laughing at the pain of the people and finding pleasure in hurting and killing people whose on
...more
Bill Ward
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite authors and I am happy to report this is yet another excellent book! The story of Germany through the thirties and second world war is brought vividly to life through the story of one Jewish family and in particular the young daughter - Helen. We journey with her through life, from an idyllic childhood, to sexual awakening, to the death of her family and the full horrors of life in a concentration camp. The story is horrific in places as it charts tragic real events. H ...more
Terry Tyler
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
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
...more
Cynthia Morgan
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A powerful and heart-touching story of tragedy, compassion, horror, love and the indomitable strength of the human spirit. Though the story relates historically accurate details many of us would prefer to turn aside from; the author also shares poignant insights into the German perspective of anti-Semitism Nazism. I skimmed past the sexual fantasy scenes that seemed incongruous, but they serve as a potent reminder that humans are humans regardless of place and situation, and often because of it. ...more
Kayla Krantz
Full of heartbreaking moments, this beautiful story by Miss Mahurin explores the tragedies of the concentration camps of World War II.

In this story, we follow the account of a young woman named Helen who, after surviving some unfortunate circumstances, was eventually found and taken into a concentration camp. Although she is one of the few who survive the camp, reading her story from little to young woman is hard.

The account of the way in which Germany affected Jewish families in this time is
...more
Laura
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star
Although this was a fictional novel set during the Holocaust era, it read very much in the style of a real memoir. A relatively short story, but gripping all the same. Much of the aspects within the book have been taken from real life accounts of concentration camp survivors. It makes for uncomfortable reading at times.

This was the first book by this author I have read, and I would be tempted to read more by her. Her characters are realistic and her writing style and tone make the reading experi
...more
Christoph Fischer
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm a big fan of Paulette Mahurin's writing. Her values, her empathy and her ability to portray humanity in adverse situation - be that discrimination or illness.
Her telling of Helen Stein's story is no different.
In the novel Helen relays this story to a writer, which enables us to get a second perspective on Helen. A very clever and heloful ploy.
Jewish Helen is friends with a gay man named Max, who is Aryan and gay and who becomes a Hitler Youth to ensure his safety. They both have a crushy on
...more
Laurette Long
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS
Paulette Mahurin’s historical novel about the Dreyfus affair, ‘To Live Out Loud’ was such an amazing feat I was wondering if she could pull off a similar coup with her new book about the Holocaust, ‘The Seven Year Dress’. No need to worry, Mahurin fans. This book, like its predecessor, will get you right in the heart and the gut. Here is an author who is not afraid of taking on big subjects.
Injustice, persecution and a ruined life for a courageous man bent on upholding his pr
...more
Joshua Grant
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Paulette Mahurin perfectly captures the horrors of the Holocaust and the beauty of its survivors in The Seven Year Dress. Helen Stein is like any teen, until one day the evil of the Nazi regime comes for her. Forced to scrape out an existence in one of the Holocaust’s worst death camps, Helen still manages to find moments of dignity and beauty amongst the survivors. This novel made me cry many times over as Mahurin’s powerful writing washed over me. This one’s an emotional gut punch, but one wel ...more
Grant Leishman
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016
I like to think that I have been greatly blessed recently. As a history buff and someone who adores historical fiction, I have read some of the most amazing, diverse and exciting historical fiction in recent times. In the last few months alone, I have read three books set during the Nazi reign of terror, each one of them very different and each one of them equally superb. From Christoph Fischer's Ludwika to Ellie Midwood's Standartenfuhrer's Wife and Gruppenfuhrer's Mistress, I have been a happy ...more
Carmen
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was eagerly awaiting Ms. Mahurin 's new book, and it more than met my expectations.
This is not an easy book, if only because the situation depicted is so dreadful, but Ms. Mahurin has a nice writing style and a sensitive point of view. She weaves, in The Seven Year Dress, a story of the weakness and the strength of the human spirit.
The Seven Year Dress delves a little deeper into the human condition than in the author’s last novel, but still with the same themes of hope, despair, love, resili
...more
Wanda Hartzenberg
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
I am a huge fan of this autor but none of her books I have read thus far, got me to invest quite as much as this book.
To start with. I love the young girls attitude at the start. Another old woman, another sad story. It was so human and so true to life that instead of judging her, I was taking internal bets on how long she will last against this old woman, and this old story. I won, not long.
The characters pop in this book. I have always admired the fact that this author writes exclusively for c
...more
Fiona
May 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As time marches on and memories fade well written books about the horrors of the holocaust remain both important reminders of the past and warnings of where political rhetoric fuelled by hate can lead. The telling of one person's experiences reminds us the incomprehensible figures represents individuals who lived, loved and dreamed. Each individual and their personal experience deserves to be told and remembered.
The book tells the story of Helen, the sole survivor of her family. The book follow
...more
Linda Greene
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Remarkable Literary Achievement

I have just added another name to my list of favorite writers of World War II stories. Her name is Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning and best-selling author of several superb books. Her recent novel “The Seven Year Dress” is a marvel. I am a student of World War II. I have a library of books and movies on the subject. This excellent work of historical fiction will hold a special place among them.
Under madman Adolf Hitler and his equally mad horde of followers,
...more
D.G. Kaye
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The story of the Seven Year Dress is told through Jewish holocaust victim and survivor, Helen, as she shares her story with her new tenant about the degradation, starvation and brutality she witnessed and suffered from the Nazis.

Mahurin does a riveting job of capturing the climate of Nazi Germany just before the war broke out, depicting Helen and her family, and her one non Jewish friend who risked his own life to save Helen and her family from being captured and taken to Auschwitz concentration
...more
Diane
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking 💔
Lorna Lee
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Never one to shy away from difficult and important topics, Mahurin has bestowed upon the reading public yet another compelling novel that will appeal to a wide range of audiences: history buffs, humanitarians, anyone who enjoys reading a story with complex characters and a gripping plot.

When I read The Seven Year Dress, I was reminded of the slogan, “The personal is the political.” This novel is based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor, Helen. Through her story, from living a simple life
...more
Christina Hamlett
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“And finally I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep on trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be, and could be, if there weren't any other people living in the world.” - Anne Frank

Once upon a not so long ago time, there was jaw-dropping disbelief that a government could be so divisive as to label the lives of some of its citizens as mattering less than others. That rights could be stripped away. That guns could be
...more
Pam
Aug 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Seven Year Dress is by Paulette Mahurin. It is a historical fiction but the information concerning World War II and the Holocaust are as accurate as she could make them. Intertwined in the history is the story of Helen Stein, who is a real person. Paulette took Helen’s story and fictionalized it.
Helen was just a young girl when she was abruptly taken from her family by a close friend, Max, and taken with her brother Ben to a secluded vacation house belonging to Max’s family. Here she and Be
...more
Henk-Jan van der Klis
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In her new novel, The Seven Year Dress, Paulette Mahurin, digs in World War II, a theme many authors already wrote about, both fiction as well as non-fiction. For a contemporary writer, therefore a challenge to find a spot that may or not may unique, but has opportunities to interest an audience quite familiar with the grand story of Nazism, Holocaust, and the devastation brought to European society. In the Seven Year Dress the personal story of Jewish Helen is revealed for the first time to Myr ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Myra is a young student looking for a room, she is interviewed by an elderly woman, Helen Stein asked a lot of personal questions. Myra debates on whether or not to rent the room but decides that she does need a place that she can afford.

There is a reason behind all of Helen's personal questions she asks of Myra. Finding out that Helen has a number tattooed on her wrist is the clue to Helen's background. Helen tells the story of how she ended up with the tattoo, see, all inmates of the concentra
...more
Ellie Midwood
All I can say is “Wow”! What a beautifully written prose that touches upon one of the most heart-wrenching themes of the twentieth century – the Holocaust. Told from the point of view of a young Jewish girl, living in Berlin and witnessing Hitler coming to power, and slow and terrifying changes that her country starts going through, Helen still tries to follow her father’s advice and keep her optimism. However, with the Kristallnacht all her hopes shatter, and she finds herself on a long way to ...more
Julie Powell
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a harrowing story, but one that is important, one that should not be forgotten or denied and one that everyone should acknowledge as true.

History has shown the terrible things that happened to the Jewish people during Hitler's reign, but there are still those who deny the atrocities committed by the German people (those that remained silent and those that enjoyed it), so books such this are vital in the hope that some may learn from it. Although, when we look at today's world...

This was
...more
Johanna Craven
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The holocaust is not a new reading subject for me, but very rarely have I read a book on the topic that goes so deeply into the human experience of the tragedy. The Seven Year Dress follows young German Jew Helen Stein through the atrocities of Nazi Germany. Helen comes from a loving, working-class family that reminded me of my own and this made the terrible injustices they suffered all the more real and appalling.
The power of this book comes from not only the fact that Helen's family is very r
...more
Molly
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an impressive and ambitious novel, telling the story of Helen Stein, a woman who survived Auschwitz.
Following her childhood in the 1920s and 1930s she grows up in a world that gradually closes in on her and her family and friends. Well researched and with great historical detail the book lets us witness the loss of ease and liberties as the unthinkable really happens.
Mahurin has chosen a great character: complex, clever and naive, fragile and resilient.
Excellently chosen side character
...more
Martin Perks
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Seven Year Dress is not the first book I’ve read by Paulette Mahurin, but is easily the best.

After reading the Prologue I was well and truly hooked. Chapter One, set in the early 1920’s depicts a well-to-do Jewish family living happily in Germany.
Helen’s father dismisses the rumours about Hitler’s plans for the Jews and they stay put in Germany.
Unfortunately, the inevitable happens and all but Helen are wiped out.
Helen is helped by Max, a German friend who joins the SS to cover his secret –
...more
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Paulette Mahurin is a best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best hist
...more

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