Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Eva's Journey by Hava Ben Zvi

Eva's Journey is a spare tale that follows a young Jewish girl living in Poland during World War 2. When her mother and older brother leave Eva and her father to go to Israel, both of their lives quickly come into peril when Nazi Germany invades. Eva's father forms a plan to place her in a convent for safekeeping but he is unfortunately killed, leaving Eva alone and dependent upon herself for own survival. What she endures in the ensuing years is often horrific, yet Eva somehow perseveres, living through the Holocaust and even finding love as a survivor.

There is much to like in this short story written many years after the fact by Eva herself (now called Hava). The horrors endured are often unimaginable, and while Eva doesn't shy away from them, she does gloss over some of the worst details. What becomes most apparent while reading, however, is Eva's indomitable spirit that led her to continue to live, even when she felt herself incredibly alone and forced to live with cold, harsh people and conditions. My biggest complaint is how quickly the story moves; I felt that while I got a sense of Eva and her trouble, I missed actually getting inside her skin because the timeline moved so quickly. However, this book would be ideally suited for teachers to use in middle school classrooms as an introduction to the severity of life for Jews trying to escape Nazi Germany, and many lessons about overcoming obstacles can be learned by readers of all ages. Inspiring and enlightening, this is a tale you won't soon forget.


Bookfool said...

One of the people in that book I reviewed yesterday, They Were Just People, was sheltered in a convent for a time. I think I'd dislike the fact that she glosses over the worst, but still . . . anything that makes you think about what it must have been like for those who hid and those who sheltered them is a good thing. I love this kind of book for the way it makes us question ourselves. Great review, Tammy!

Pssst, you need to post some updated kitty photos. :)

Diane said...

This sounds like a tough one, but also worthwhile; great review Tammy