Review: The Return

Synopsis:

Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans, but then she never had to. Not until the night when she’s taken captive in a surprise Indian raid. During her captivity, Betsy faces brutality and hardship, but also unexpected kindness. She draws strength from native Caleb, who encourages her to find God in all circumstances. She finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the intense new feelings this compelling man awakens within her. 

Handsome and complex, Hans is greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity and turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort. Eagerly, Tessa responds, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge. When Betsy is finally restored to the Amish, have things gone too far between Hans and Tessa? 

Inspired by true events, this deeply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of prerevolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith-filled women.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher is an inspiring tale. It’s also full of hardships, woe, and hope. The book is based off some realistic events from the past. I enjoyed following this historical Christian piece. A group of Christians find themselves in the wilderness. A new land that is just as dangerous as it is good. Indians are nearby. In fact, one Indian will become something more to one of the protagonists. Her faith is questioned. Danger escalates and loss is felt. A massacre happens. Half Indians are slaughtered out of fear by others. Anger and fear make for trouble. One Amish man finds himself in such a predicament. Caleb is half Indian and half Mennonite. Betsy feels protective of her new friend. But Caleb is struggling with what’s happening to his kind. Betsy is hopeful thinking one day, Caleb will be ready to enter her world.  But right now he’s hurt, confused, and not ready. Understanding and relating to each character inside this book was easy. I felt their emotions. Fear, anger, sadness, love, and hope. Kindness played a role throughout the troubled and terrible times. Overall, I would recommend The Return to readers everywhere. Themes of friendship, bullying, and respect are found here. It was a well-written yet engaging read. 

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Review: The Holocaust (History & Memory)

The Holocaust: History and Memory by [Black, Jeremy M.]

 

Synopsis:

Brilliant and wrenching, The Holocaust: History and Memory tells the story of the brutal mass slaughter of Jews during World War II and how that genocide has been remembered and misremembered ever since. Taking issue with generations of scholars who separate the Holocaust from Germany’s military ambitions, historian Jeremy M. Black demonstrates persuasively that Germany’s war on the Allies was entwined with Hitler’s war on Jews. As more and more territory came under Hitler’s control, the extermination of Jews became a major war aim, particularly in the east, where many died and whole Jewish communities were exterminated in mass shootings carried out by the German army and collaborators long before the extermination camps were built. Rommel’s attack on Egypt was a stepping stone to a larger goal—the annihilation of 400,000 Jews living in Palestine. After Pearl Harbor, Hitler saw America’s initial focus on war with Germany rather than Japan as evidence of influential Jewish interests in American policy, thus justifying and escalating his war with Jewry through the Final Solution. And the German public knew. In chilling detail, Black unveils compelling evidence that many everyday Germans must have been aware of the genocide around them. In the final chapter, he incisively explains the various ways that the Holocaust has been remembered, downplayed, and even dismissed as it slips from horrific experience into collective consciousness and memory. Essential, concise, and highly readable, The Holocaust: History and Memory bears witness to those forever silenced and ensures that we will never forget their horrifying fate.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Holocaust: History & Memory by Jeremy Black is one that I will forever behold. This book contains so much history and memories during one of the most horrifying moments in history. Jeremy Black has brilliantly put together a great study of the Holocaust for readers everywhere to revisit and learn. His writing is direct, concise, and very detalied. I am never giving up this book. There is so much to read. The information contained in this reading material is stunning. I was surprised it wasn’t thicker with all that was inside of it. The journey back in time and across nations and other countries was remarkable. The Holocaust always brings up the dreaded nightmares and terrors that noone wants to remember. All the innocent lives that were taken in mass killings is something that all should never forget. We need to be reminded of the hows and why and to learn that we shouldn’t ever allow something like that to occur ever again. The Holocaust: History & Memory is a strong and superb book. I highly recommend this read to all. Jeremy Black’s work is one to take seriously and read.Educational, informative, and a remembrance of such nightmares…