**spoiler alert** Joan escapes her nasty, demanding father in search of a better life in the city. Thanks to the determination and foresight of her mo**spoiler alert** Joan escapes her nasty, demanding father in search of a better life in the city. Thanks to the determination and foresight of her mother who squirreled her egg money away for her daughter and Joan's ingenuity and intelligence, she succeeds in broadening her horizons and breaking out of the mundane drudgery that her father was trying to sentence her to for life.
Her inspiring teacher who planted the seed that education could open other doors for her lead to some work in a wealthy Jewish household where she is able to continue pursuing her love of reading. Ultimately, she can't keep up the charade that she is several years older than in reality, but luckily, the reveal enables her to return to studying and is quite promising!
It does remind me a bit of Anne of Green Gables and something grittier. ...more
Clara wrote this diary about the experience that she and several other friends and family endured surviving in a bunker under a house for 2 years duriClara wrote this diary about the experience that she and several other friends and family endured surviving in a bunker under a house for 2 years during World War II in a small town in Poland. She wrote the four volumes with one blue pencil which documented their mental and physical struggles for survival living with 17 other people underneath the house where a Polish family lived.
The book chronicles the heartbreak and terror of having so many members of their friends and family brutally murdered. It also demonstrates the complexity of the Polish family which was committed to helping protect and sustain them during this harsh and brutal time. The book demonstrates the courage and tenacity of many of individuals, but also the sheer brutality, greed and hatred of others also is included in these pages.
I especially appreciated how the book addresses the complex situation with the Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans and Nazis. It hits on the various power plays and shifting position for them during the war, as it ended and afterwards.
The photographs included in the book were fantastic. Some parts of this book were tough for me to get through. It is a stark reminder of the endurance and sacrifice that enabled some individuals to survive the terror of World War II.
It's a valuable witness account of genocide that needs to be remembered. ...more
**spoiler alert** I liked and was annoyed by this book at the same time.
Pro: 1) Shows the strength of female friendship 2) Deals with domestic abuse a**spoiler alert** I liked and was annoyed by this book at the same time.
Pro: 1) Shows the strength of female friendship 2) Deals with domestic abuse and all its complexity in a honest way 3) Demonstrates diverse ways of being a good Mom 4) Takes place in Australia 5) Satisfying ending 6) Funny
Con: 1) AHHHH crazy clique laden insanity surrounding the parents and their circles 2) So much judgment about appearances 3) Jerky ex-husband feud 4) Bullying and blame game with kids
Overall, it came out ahead and was a speedy read. It had a fun slant for sure despite the heavy subject matter. ...more