Pat's Reviews > A Stone for Bread

A Stone for Bread by Miriam Herin
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it was amazing
bookshelves: gr-giveaways

This book by author Miriam Herin, was a top ten finalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom novel competition.
A historical fiction novel that takes the reader through poverty stricken Cleveland County, NC where Henry Beam grew up, abused, bullied, and yet had the hope he could escape the life that awaited him if he stayed in Cleveland County, by his love of books and education.
Henry does escape to Duke University, and publishes a book of poems. It is the 1950's. He goes to Paris and there begins the journey that leads him to the politician Marcotte, Eugenie, other young American expats and ultimately Rene.
Chapter by chapter, Herin takes us through time. Pre WWII, WWII Paris during the occupation of the Nazi's, Austria to the concentration/prison camp of Mauthausen, bucolic Chapel Hill and Durham in the later life of the tortured older Henry Beam. Beam meets Rachel Singer, a young grad student who becomes Henry's confessor and who will eventually acknowledge a secret in her own family.
Stone for Bread is beautifully written. A poetic novel that pays tribute to the loss of life in the death camps all through Europe and the evil that was loosed on the world then and forever.

"One morning, he checked his secret cache and took the square of paper from hiding. He unfolded it. Three pages, torn from a notebook, filled with words, front and back, written in a tight, small hand. French words. Rene was astonished. Here were vignettes of life in the prison, poems. He read the pages through several times. Tears dripped from his eyes. Who could have written them?" "Whenever he could, he took out the pages and read the words again. They were bitter poems, stark images of the prisoners' torments. Yet they comforted Rene. Someone shared his suffering".

Thank you Livingston Press for this book I won in a GoodReads giveaway. The above review is my honest opinion.
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Reading Progress

September 17, 2015 – Shelved
September 17, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
November 4, 2015 – Started Reading
November 8, 2015 – Shelved as: gr-giveaways
November 8, 2015 – Finished Reading

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