Hold On To Hope
The Stolen Twins by Shari Ryan is a most heart breaking and powerful historical tale that consumed me from the start.
The story is set 1944-1947 in Europe and the United States. It is told from the alternating points of view of Hungarian twins Arina and Nora, in both the first and the third person. The tale swings between 1944 and 1946 until the earlier time catches up.
As we hear the girls stories, the reader is horrified at the cruelty and of man’s inhumanity to man.
The main body of the tale is set in Auschwitz as we witness the horrific actions of Dr Mengele. As Shari Ryan describes the scenes, we recoil in horror, knowing that the reality is far more horrific.
Even in Auschwitz there were pockets of kindness as fellow prisoners risked their own lives to show kindness.
To survive, one needed a lot of luck and also hope, hope that one day it would all end and hope that loved ones would be re-united. Without hope, the people perish.
After the war, life continued to be hard. The stories from Auschwitz were so awful that people even wondered if they were true. “Reliving these stories no one will ever believe.” Finding out that reality was far worse than the imagination, created feelings of guilt in those who had not believed.
There was survivor’s guilt too. Why were they alive when so many had perished?
The bond between the twins was strong and it was beautiful to see. They held on to hope that there would be brighter days ahead and that there was goodness out there.
The Stolen Twins was such a powerful read. It is a tale that needs to be told in memory of the six million innocents who perished and also in memory of the survivors.
I will leave you with a powerful quote:
“We deserve nothing that happened to us, but that doesn’t mean we are going to let our past define our future.”
I received a free copy from the author via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.