Those Who Save Us

Those Who Save Us

by Jenna Blum

Barbara Diener: I am still thinking of the characters Anna, a young German mother and Trudy, her only child. I've been thinking of how much we can endure as human beings and what we are capable of doing, the reasons why we do what we do and what I would do if in the same situation. Anna is a mother. Would all mothers go to the lengths she did to do everything to survive the horrors of the war? I'm not so sure. Many would probably have given up and not been able to survive. I see this book as the story of survival, endurance and love.

Those Who Save Us is a story about a women of strength who makes a decision to live and protect her child at any cost. Losing her dignity to a man she loathes so she can feed Trudy and make it just one more day. What would I do if I had to face the same daily routine? I'm still thinking about even weeks after finishing the book. There are so many books covering the heroines and heros of this era, but somehow Jenna Blum's characters in this book really stuck with me as if I had known them. I highly recommend reading Those Who Save Us.
Rating: *****

Hadriane Kalfus: I enjoyed this book very much. It reiterates the lesson that some things are not quite as they appear. We should not accept everything at face value and learn to look beyond our first thoughts and impressions. The mother daughter relationship is an interesting aspect...many thoughts, feelings and words are left hidden. This book is very well written. As the story expands you wonder how you would react in similar circumstances. The story goes back in forth in time and you can feel yourself living during the war. Please read this wonderful story and think about the lessons within.
Rating: *****

Debbie Weiss: I agree with Judi that this is an extraordinary book. Jenna Blum writes beautifully and because of the details she uses in the characters she creates, she enables the reader to feel as though they know each one extremely well.

Sometimes people have to do things in life that they are not proud of in order to survive.  Anna was one of these individuals and how she lived with herself once the threat was over was interesting.  The reader is left wondering how he or she would react if they were in the same life-threatening situation.   I highly recommend this book.
Rating: *****

Judi Schnitzer: 'Those Who Save Us' is the first novel of author Jenna Blum. The story takes shifts between present day United States and World War II Germany. It follows the life of Anna Schlemmer in Weimar, Germany near Buchenwald during WWII and Anna and her daughter Trudy in present day Minnesota. Anna has hidden from Trudy her entire life all that happened during the horrific years during the war. Trudy knows nothing of her true father and only has vague dreams and nightmares of the beginning of her life in Germany.

Trudy, a professor of German history, begins a project in which she interviews non-Jews of German descent to tell their stories of their recollections of what went on during the war. The Project leads to profound questions and answers that have escaped Trudy all her life. I really enjoyed this book especially Jenna Blum's wordsmithing. It was also interesting to read about the war and the Holocaust from a different perspective.
Rating: *****

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