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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.7 out of 5
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94 reviews have 5 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Evil

    Once I began this book, I could not put it down, and the pages flew. Unfortunately, this is based on truth, and I kept thinking, how could they get away with what they did. Why did the world allow it? Then I remembered the part where they put on the show for the Red Cross. What a blight on history, I don’t know how the perpetrators lived with themselves? This book also follows a young woman and a young man, they have big hearts under horrendous conditions, and with their selflessness end up saving lives. I found myself walking in the shoes of these people condemned to Hades in the form of Auschwitz-Birkenau and witnessing the atrocious happenings. This is my first book by Ellie Midwood, and it won’t be my last, be sure to read the author’s notes at the end! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bookouture, and was not required to give a positive review

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    7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Great Historical Fiction

    This was another exceptionally good book by Author Ellie Midwood. When young Mala Zimethaum arrives in Auschwitz, she is immediately assigned the job of interpreter for the SS and a runner between the camps. She is secretly working for the underground resistance and does her best to help save lives by smuggling food to prisoners and finding them jobs that they can do. While on a mission, she meets Edward "Edek" Galinski who has been in Auschwitz for a long time and is also a member of the resistance. They fall in love and plan their escape together. This is a heart-wrenching story of love, kindness and courage. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this powerful, well-written book in exchange for an honest review.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Inspiration and Hope

    This is a story of tenacity and hope. It’s a story about standing in the abominable depths of hell and choosing kindness and love instead. Based on the true story of Auschwitz prisoners, Mala (inmate #19880) and Edek (inmate #531), Midwood masterfully brings to life their unexpected love story as well as their inspirational resistance to their oppressors. In a place where death hangs in the air and it’s a crime just to exist, love seems both foreign and unlikely. Yet Alma and Edek find hope, tenderness, and affection in one another. Midwood skillfully draws the reader in to this unique and heartbreaking love story. I became deeply invested in their relationship and its ability to bring them a ray of light in such dark circumstances. But this isn’t just a love story. It’s also a story about self-sacrifice and inspiration. Hardship can either bring out the best or worst in people. In this case, we see the very best of Mala and Edek, dedicated to helping others survive and bringing fellow inmates a bit of peace to distract from the surrounding horrors. Their willingness to fight against the oppression became an inspiration throughout camp and catapulted the Underground Resistance’s successes. It’s one thing to survive hell. It’s quite another to overcome it. Having read Midwood’s previous book, The Violinist of Auschwitz, I was thrilled to see Alma and Zippy woven in to the fabric of Mala’s story. While the two stories can absolutely be enjoyed separately, it was very gratifying to see the stories intertwine. Additionally, I greatly appreciated the Note on History at the end which indicated Midwood’s dedication to maintaining historical accuracy and the depth of research put into this book. Mala and Edek’s story deserves to be told. They bravely defied fate and inspired others. Midwood has adeptly and beautifully given them voice and honored their lives. Many thanks to Ellie Midwood, Bookouture, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Less You Know, The Better You Sleep

    An Amazing book of courage and fortitude. Not only just survival, but resistance in a place so horrible that not every day, but every minute could be your last. Not a place setting for a romance, but in this awful place a romance does blossom. Mala is a Jewish girl sent to Auschwitz by cattle car simply for being Jewish. She finds a job in camp as an interpreter as she knows several languages. She is known throughout the camp as a compassionate person. She helps inmates get easier jobs when they need them, she gives away her clothes and food to those that are cold and starving. She works with the camp resistance. Edward or Edek as his friends call him is a veteran political prisoner. He has one of the earlier numbers and has been at the camp for a while. Edward is a Polish prisoner working as a fitter. He does plumbing or construction wherever he fits and is needed. He is also working with the camp resistance. He has a plan to escape with his friend Wieslaw an Mala is helping them. When Mala and Edward meet and fall in love, Edward and Wieslaw both know that Mala will be escaping with Edward. The story is of the camp, their survival, the horrible things that go on and the narrow escapes that Mala endures in the camp. The ruthless guards and the sympathetic ones. The love between Mala and Edward, the stolen minutes and their escape plan. The resistance and their plans for escape and to blow up the crematorium. The ending in this book is a total surprise. This is a story built on truth. I loved the words written after the story telling of the different people that inspired the characters. That Mala was a real person in Auschwitz. The books written by some of the other's that inspired characters in this book. The book was heartbreaking and very sad at times, but it is inspiring and a good read. I recommend this book. Thanks to Ellie Midwood, Bookouture, and NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy of the book for an honest review.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Never Again!

    This novel is an up-close and personal look at Auschwitz. I almost couldn't read some parts and needed to skip over others. The word picture the author composed was even more horrifying because the death camps happened. Worse, this story is based on a real woman's life. It is the story of a love that blossomed and grew in the most horrible of places. It is also the story of escape from this living hell. If you are a reader who feels empathy for book characters, this book will give you nightmares, especially since it is true. The story is well written and quite believable, it reads more like a memoir than a based on a true story novel. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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