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Angela, Diane and Esil discuss

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Diane S ☔ We're back!! Lol!

Angela M Happy to be back ! Thanks, Diane,

Angela M I’m starting this tonight . There are six parts not evenly divided, but it might make sense to use the parts as breaks to comment.

Parts One and Two - 25%
Parts Three and Four - 59%
Parts Five and Six - end .

Is that okay with both of you.? If you want to get closer to thirds we could break by chapters.

Did either of you read The German Girl? I liked it , but felt it was more YA than I usually read.

Esil That sounds good to me.

I’m going to start tonight too. I didn’t read The German Girl.

I was just out of town for the week for work. Nice to back home and nice to be back to reading a book with my two lovely reading buddies!

I’m going to start tonight too.

message 5: by Diane S ☔ (last edited Apr 12, 2019 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Diane S ☔ Managed to get myself very sick and am back on steroids. Breakdown of discussion sounds okay. Lise, there's no place like home! Lol!

Will try to keep up, if not I'll just lag behind a bit.

Angela M Diane, so sorry to hear you are sick and on steroids again. Please take care of yourself and don’t worry. ! We have so many others to read together in the coming months!

Lise, I hope your trip was good even if for work. I’m with Diane - there’s no place like home !

Esil Diane — I’m so sorry to hear you aren’t well again. I hope you are feeling better soon.

Don’t worry about lagging behind. I might be a bit slow too. I have a few commitments this weekend.

Esil I just finished parts 1 and 2. It’s a horrific and familiar story from WWII Germany. I like it, but I’m not blown away by the writing or characters. I can see how Amanda felt torn by her loyalty to Julius and her fear of the unknown and ended up making a rash choice to send only Veira away. I don’t know what I would have done in her place. There’s no good decision to be made. I’m curious to see what awaits Veira in Cuba. Cuba during WWII will be a new context for me.

Angela M I finished these parts as well and I felt exactly the same as you , Lise . I can’t really add much more . I was not aware of Cuba in the context of the war, I don’t think until I read The German Girl. Definitely thought the same about the writing - pretty meh.

Angela M Forgot to say , it reminded me of Sophie’s choice making that decision.

Diane S ☔ Just finished one, and i think it is another heartbreaking take but so far nothing that sets it apart from others. Likable yes, but not much more. Me too about Cuba Angela until I read the German girl. Have trouble concentrating on high doses of steroids so as I said I will be lagging. But I'll get there, like the turtle. Lol!

message 12: by Esil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Esil I’ve been the turtle many times, Diane...

I just finished part 4. I still feel the same about this one. The context is heartbreaking but the story and writing are not captivating me. I may be inattentive, but I’m not sure I understand how Amanda got Lina out of the camp. I know she had made a plan with the French soldier, but I’m not sure how his betrayal and her killing him led to Amanda being able to get Lina out, and then Amanda getting back in. It’s feeling a bit unrealistic to me at this point.

I didn’t read The German Girl so I don’t have the Cuban perspective. I kind of wish we had a view onto Veira’s life in Cuba.

Angela M I finished Parts Three and Four also . It’s reading quickly for me because the writing is pretty simplistic. I definitely agree , that although sad and heartbreaking and reflective of the horrors of the war, it isn’t captivating me either. I recently read another WWII story , The Things We Cannot Say and there is just no comparison.

I think Amanda was able to get Lina out because it was a time when there were going to be fewer guards - that’s if I was attentive enough ! But, not very realistic for sure .

I’m disappointed because there are positive reviews . I’m hoping that we find out more about the time in Cuba. At the beginning it
said it was based on true events. I hope the author expands on that .

message 14: by Esil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Esil I think I too am comparing it with The Things We Cannot Say, which I agree is much stronger.

I likely won’t be able to finish it until tonight or tomorrow. So far, it’s disappointing to not be engaged by a book about such an important topic.

message 15: by Esil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Esil I’m already thinking ahead. Do you have any interest in reading Ask Again, Yes next? It’s getting really positive reviews.

Angela M Ask Again, Yes looks like a good one . Fine with me for our next read.

I will more than likely finish this afternoon sometime so I can get on to something else .

Diane, I hope you are feeling better .

message 17: by Diane S ☔ (last edited Apr 14, 2019 06:09AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Diane S ☔ I've just finished three and I am not drawn to this either. It's just okay, and isn't making much of an impression on me. Will probably finish four by this evening. I won't finish until tomorrow either. Maybe we've just read too many on this subject that it makes it more difficult for one to stand out.

Yes again is fine with me too.

Still feeling crappy, and worst of all is that the high doses of steroids makes it nearly impossible to sleep. Only slept three hours last night. Plus, it's snowing here, unbelievsble!

Angela M Diane , you’re right . We read so many of these stories and it’s hard not to compare them.

So sorry you are still not feeling well. Not sleeping doesn’t help , I’m sure .

Snow- that stinks ! It’s supposed to rain here most of the afternoon.

Angela M I just finished it and will give it 3 stars, though just barely. As I already said , the writing left
a lot to be desired. Even though I did learn something here since I didn’t know the story of all who were killed in this one single village at one time , and even though it’s sad and awful, it didn’t feel original.

I was didn’t quite understand why Danielle told Viera in the note that Amanda snd Lina ended up in Auschwitz. What am I missing? I also felt the ending was pretty rushed .

I probably won’t write my review until tomorrow. I always have a hard time writing reviews for books I didn’t love !

Diane S ☔ I'm almost finished, and I think, at least for me, that this is missing a spark! There is too much a sameness of tone throughout.

Angela M Exactly, Diane. I thought the writing was flat , but you describe it so much better . It’s too bad because the subject matter is important.

I had a comment from s mutual friend Susanne and and she’s struggling through this too.

message 23: by Esil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Esil I’m almost finished too, and finding it hard dragging myself to the finish line. The last part seems particularly flat and poorly mapped out.

Diane S ☔ It was a chore to read, i skimmed quite a bit. I rated it too stars and I just hate having g to rate a Holocaust story that low.

Angela M Lise , I agree .

Diane , I think we’re not making a judgement on how horrific or how important it is to remember the holocaust, but a judgement on how it was presented.

Diane S ☔ I know Angela, I agree but it is still hard for me to do.

Angela M I know what you mean. I barely gave it 3.

message 28: by Esil (new) - rated it 3 stars

Esil I finally finished. I’m between 2 and 3 stars. This was really disappointing. Such important history, but delivered in a way that didn’t engage and didn’t seem realistic. And the end was definitely rushed.

Angela, in answer to your question, I think Danielle told Viera Lina and Amanda died at Auschwitz out of spite because Lina/Elyse ended up going to New York.

Do you want to start the next book May 4th?

Angela M I know that Danielle resented Lina but how awful to do that. The end definitely felt rushed .

May 4th is fine for me ,

Diane, are you any better ?

Diane S ☔ Two more days of steroids, but finally yes I feel better.

Our next read

Angela M Glad you’re feeling better , Diane !

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