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The World That We Knew
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Archive: Other Books > The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman -- 3 stars

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Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman
3 stars

This is a hard review to write because I just feel....eh. It was fine. It was pretty interesting, interesting enough to keep me reading, but it was far from stellar for me.

I have read so many outstanding WWII historical fiction novels that a book has to really be phenomenal to impress me. And this one was just mediocre. It told interwoven storylines of three young women--Lea, Etti, and Marianne--as well as two young men--brothers Victor and Julian--as they avoid being captured by Nazis and sent to concentration camps. They lose loved ones along the way as their paths crisscross, merge, and diverge over four years.

One of the things that was off was that all of the major tension and struggle came from non-war related conflicts. I never got the sense that there was a very high chance that these people were actually in danger of being found by the Nazis, but instead their inner conflict about family left behind, whether a boy or girl loved them, and what they were going to do after the war dominated their actions. And while I appreciated that there was insight to what these characters were thinking and feeling, it lost the tie to WWII and made their musings almost seem frivolous.

But, the real thing that tanked this books for me was not even the author's fault. I borderline despised the narration. And that pains me to say a little because it was Judith Light, and she seems like a genuinely lovely person. But her narration was overwrought. It wasn't smooth. It grated on my nerves.

So, ultimately, just eh. It kept me occupied on my drives to and from work but it will quickly fade from my memory.


Jgrace | 3104 comments I just finished this and I've only skimmed your review. I wanted to know if you had only listened to it. She was awful! I like the book more when I dumped the audio. It wasn't my favorite Hoffman book, but the ending pulled it up for me.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Jgrace wrote: "I just finished this and I've only skimmed your review. I wanted to know if you had only listened to it. She was awful! I like the book more when I dumped the audio. It wasn't my favorite Hoffman b..."

Honestly, if not for the narrator, I probably would have given this a 3.5 rounded up to 4.

But, my word, the narration was bad. I would have given up on it as well except that I didn't have any other audiobook at the time to switch to so I stuck with this one.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments And, I will look for your review so we can talk about the ending!


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 9341 comments I Cannot Wait to read this book! And to dish with you guys when I do! Its extremely high on my priority list.


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