Tag Archive | Shari J Ryan

The Homemaker by Shari J Ryan

Real Or Imagined?

The Homemaker by Shari J Ryan is an absolutely gripping contemporary psychological thriller that I just could not put down. Right from the start Shari J Ryan drew me in, as I questioned what was happening.

The action is written in the third person from alternating points of view and different time periods. The reader gets inside some of the characters heads as we learn their motivations.

Suburbia – friendly, community minded, safe – No! Behind the chintzy curtains, the neighbours hide and watch. There are many secrets. Monsters and angels both wear smiles – truth and lies – read the book and decide who can be trusted.

There is the theme of real or imagined? Do we believe what our memories tell us? Or is the what is real spoken by others? Trauma shuts down minds as reality and imagination blur.

Continue reading

The Doctor’s Daughter by Shari J Ryan

Life, Death & Hope

The Doctor’s Daughter by Shari J Ryan is a powerful, heart-breaking and inspiring historical tale that completely consumed me for a few hours.

The story is set during World War II in Poland as we move from the Warsaw ghetto to Auschwitz. It is told in alternating points of view in the first person. We witness the horrors of the camp. “The monsters live on the outside, not in the dark, and not hidden in any way.” Auschwitz was hell on earth. “I’m not old enough to say Hell, but I’m living at its gates.”

We join an eighteen year old brother and his fourteen year old sister in this awful place. They hold on to hope – hope helps to keep them alive. They fear being told the truth in case hope dies, and so would they.

Strength, hope and luck were needed to survive. Shari J Ryan has captured the fear with her powerful descriptions and her ability to place us inside her characters heads.

War is horrific. War in Nazi-occupied countries was more than just blood-shed. It was brain washing and unbelievable cruelty. “This war isn’t about who has more muscles… it’s about hatred and the repercussions of such a feeling are more powerful than any weapon in this world.” Being a focus of such hatred was a chance of birth. “I’ve done nothing wrong… other than being born into the Jewish faith.”

Continue reading

The Bookseller Of Dachau by Shari J Ryan

Hold On To Hope

The Bookseller Of Dachau by Shari J Ryan is a powerful dual timeline novel that totally consumed me. I did not just read this book – I lived it – my emotions were all over the place.

This is a tale of love, of heartache and ultimately of hope. “Hope is something no one can steal from you.” Without hope, the people perish. We need hope as much as the air that we breathe.

The novel is set in 2018 and during World War II in Bavaria. The two time periods are linked by letters telling the tale of a young German girl and a German Jewish boy during the war years. The young girl is the grandmother of the modern-day character. Their tale is one of a great love. It was a love that defied the times they were living through. Theirs was a brave love. It was a love that meant they both had to hang on to hope.

Nazi Germany was a terrible place. Evil was all around. Selfishness abounded as many believed in self-preservation, turning a blind eye to their neighbour’s plight. One young girl transcended all this. Her bravery was huge. Her love ran deep.

As Jewish lives were eroded, the young Jewish man declared: “They can take everything but… I will still have my dreams, memories and the stories that live within my head.” His mind was free though his body was in bondage.

Continue reading

The Stolen Twins by Shari J Ryan

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.

Continue reading