Sunday, May 24, 2015

REVIEW: Miriam's Way

Miriam's Way
by Cissy Lacks
Beanie Books
149 Pages
Read in Kindle format

How got book: Kindle Unlimited

Why read: author request and WWII related survival story, heck yeah!!

Synopsis:

In September of 1941, German armies marched through eastern Poland into Russia, and Miriam, a thirteen-year-old Polish Jew, entered the dark forests of White Russia to hide from the invaders.

Miriam's Way is based upon true-life experiences of Miriam Kenisberg from 1941 through 1946 as told by author Cissy Lacks.


My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 3 Stars

A fascinating story of survival against impossible odds, this story got better and better as the book went along. Miriam was so lucky to get the education she did from her father; without those words of wisdom on how to survive in the forest, she would have died unknown and been lost to history. As she encountered the various people on her journey and after the war, Miriam developed into a deeper and stronger individual that I was glad got her happy ending.

The author’s historical research shows for the most part throughout the book. Her careful attention to details in the plight of war torn WWII Europe and the situation of the displace persons trying to build a new life after the war rang true. There were a few items throughout the narrative that were questionable to me, but they were very minor.

There are times, however, where I wasn’t quite sure of the target audience for this book. The first half of the book reads very much as a YA novel with very brief descriptions and flat characterization. Yet, in the latter half of the book, there is some material that I would be shocked to find in a YA novel for the younger end of the YA spectrum. The world building was also more radiant in the latter half. So I was thrown by this discrepancy.

 And some of these secondary characters…. Holy carp!! Wlodek is the main culprit here. The way he talks and acts towards Miriam could be believable, I suppose, in the context that strange people I this timeframe and location could be suspected hiding Jews. Yet, his family takes Miriam in as a lost girl who needs help, NOT as a hiding Jewess. So what he does to her and right in front of his mother?! Really?! And not one peep out of Ma. I’d hate to be this guy’s future girlfriend; what a creep….
Engaging story and good research make this an enjoyable read. There are issues with secondary characterization and a vague target audience, but these problems in no way impede me in recommending this book. I’d definitely say a great book to give to an older YA, maybe 17-18, who’s interested in the Holocaust and the time period. Also a great book for adult readers overall.

 Note: Book read and reviewed at request of author.

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