Kim's Reviews > While We're Far Apart

While We're Far Apart by Lynn Austin
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Apr 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star-books, historical-fiction, favorite-stand-alones, kindle-library, christian

This is a unique story that hits upon so many different issues. At times while reading, I would think there is SO much going on in the story...why am I not lost? I was never once lost and it's because the author brilliantly relates only what we need to know. There is very little blabber in this book...that is a rarity. Every part of it was important to the different parts of the story.
This book raises so many important topics. It takes place in Manhatten during WWII, so it touches on how the war affected those left behind, the constant worry and wonder with limited info due to a much reduced communications system than we have now, rations, hunger, the way the servicemen were treated and greeted - all military were very valued during that time. It's also a coming of age story. Age is explored from many perspectives - from the young to the old. I love in this book how valued and respected old Mr Mendel becomes to his young neighbors. He needed them too, but most touching to me was how much he had to offer - a lifetime of experiences and they appreciated that. I learned so much about the Jewish faith. This book really delves deeply into Jew's beliefs - their diet, their holidays, their habits, the different ways in which they were grouped and treated. VERY interesting. We also get a slight look into how the holocaust affected Hungarian Jews, following the true timeline of what occured. I loved the addition of the Swedish guy who appeared in Hungary to save so many Jews from almost certain death. I didn't realize that he was a "real" person until the very end where the author recognized him as a hero.
And of course death and loss. During a war death is an issue that cannot be avoided. In this war, death was so significant, I cannot imagine how many in our world were NOT affected.
This is a Christian book. I did not know that when I picked it up...I did kind of have a feeling as I went along as religion was explored more than any other book I've read. BUT...this did not in any way put me off. Religion was explored at a more surface level...FAITH. Faith during these times was definitely challenged, particularly for the Jewish. I learned alot from this book and because of it, I will not be so quick to set aside a Christian book again. Honestly, my "vision" of Christian literature has changed completely. Differences in religion were celebrated and respected. Very, very cool.
I would encourage all age groups to read this novel. It is truly a lovely experience. There is so much to be learned from that time period. It's is definitely not a book I will soon forget!!
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