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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Review: Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz

Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 0061881775
Pages:368 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction/WWII  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb

Summary from publisher:

In May 1945, Pavel Mandl, a Polish Jew recently liberated from a concentration camp, finds himself among similarly displaced persons gathered in the Allied occupation zones of a defeated Germany. Possessing little besides a map, a few tins of food, and a talent for black-market trading, he must scrape together a new life in a chaotic community of refugees, civilians, and soldiers. With fellow refugees Fela, a young widow, and Chaim, a resourceful teenager with impressive smuggling skills, Pavel establishes a makeshift family, as together they face an uncertain future. Eventually the trio immigrates to the United States, where they grapple with past traumas that arise again in the everyday moments of lives no longer dominated by the need to endure, fight, hide, or escape.

Ghita Schwarz’s Displaced Persons is an astonishing novel of grief, anger, and survival that examines the landscape of liberation and reveals the interior despairs and joys of immigrants shaped by war and trauma.

My Review:     

As I am sure you have heard by now, there was a hurricane this weekend. It sucked. I didn’t sleep. I lost power. All that stuff. I also lost plenty of time in reviewing because I had to board up all of my windows and garbage bag my bookshelves. Hence, I am a bit delayed in my review of this book.

Displaced Persons tells the story of Chaim, Fela and Pavel, three survivors of the Holocaust as they await their fate after the war. All three were well drawn and interesting in their own right but together they created this interesting family dynamic.  I loved watching them figure out ways to survive together. I thought they were all great characters and their stories were very compelling.

I know it’s very strange to say this but World War II is one of my hit or miss historic events. I either am really interested and invested or totally bored. It sometimes stops being about the people and more about the events and with World War II, the stories about the people are so much more interesting. This one was definitely about the people and that is why I loved it so much. I did find that the plot started to lag towards the end. Not much but I definitely felt my interest waning a bit but the amazingness that is the rest of the book more than made up for it.


*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review.   My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies   made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the  blog.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad that you're okay after the hurricane! I was out of town that weekend but my house in Maryland was fine. My parents and lots of other local friends are STILL without power though!

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one - it sounds like it would be just perfect for me. Thanks for being a part of the tour.



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