The Orphans Of Berlin by Jina Bacarr is a powerful historical novel that consumed me from the start.
The action is set from 1936 to roughly 1942, with a post war epilogue. We hear the events through two alternating voices, both of which are incredibly brave.
Events take place in America, Paris and Berlin. The gaiety of America in 1936 contrasts with events in Europe as the storm clouds are gathering, and the persecution of the Jewish people is beginning to reach beyond Germany.
It is against this background that we find ordinary people committing extraordinary acts of bravery. Despite the fear, even young children stand up for family. It was a time of unspeakable horror, and also great love and bravery.
As we follow the orphans of Berlin, we see an ordinary Jewish family who are united by love and music. Music lifts us beyond our circumstances as we seek to lose ourselves within the melody.
The Lost Girl In Paris by Jina Bacarr is a powerful dual timeline novel that will break your heart.
The story is set in 2003 and also during World War II in Europe. The chapters alternate between the two time periods as an octogenarian relates her wartime experiences. The reader witnesses the determination and bravery to survive.
Surviving the war naturally traumatizes a character who has kept silent for years but realizes now is the time to share her story in memory of those who died and in the hope that it never again happens.
Life in Ravensbruck, Auschwitz and Dachau was hell on earth but there were pockets of kindness which needed to be grabbed and memories held on to.
There were not just Jews in the camps but political prisoners and gypsies. The leading character is a French gypsy who refuses to deny her rich heritage.
She Walked Among Them
The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr is a marvellous dual timeline novel. Present day is linked to Paris from the 1920’s to Nazi occupation during World War II in the form of a dairy and recording.
Following her mother’s death, a daughter wants to know the truth of her heritage. Her mother’s beginnings have always been a closely guarded secret, now it is time to seek the truth about a grandmother she never knew. As she delves deeper, more questions are asked. Rumour points to collaboration, wanting to discover the truth, the granddaughter travels from modern day America to France in search of anyone who may have known her grandmother.
Occupied Paris was a dangerous place to be. Trust was in short supply as people collaborated with the Nazis to improve their lot. Others bravely helped the resistance to sabotage Nazi plans and to help Jewish people escape. It was a time where suspicion lurked. Dering do often went unnoticed except by a few trusted folks. Sometimes what you witnessed with your eyes was merely an illusion, the bravery of ordinary people was cloaked for fear of being reported. Bonds were made that would be unbreakable.