I absolutely loved this book! The writing style, the characters, the setting, I love historical books. This one is based on a true story from the writer’s own family. I won this on @Goodreads giveaways surprisingly! Thank you @SimonandSchuster!
I loved how each chapter changed POV and also introduced the character while letting them tell their back story. I love the depth of back stories, that build the story and give the motivations for their actions and words.
True to form I absorbed this book into myself. I felt this book pull its threads tight around me more than any book lately. Marrying into a Jewish family as a gentile. Losing my father on 7/6 – 3 years ago. And at one time as Esther Williams being my hero wanting to swim the English Channel as a young swimmer.
Twenty pages in and I was already hooked and having so many life overlaps. I’m an avid swimmer and when my sister was pregnant with my niece (18 yo now) my parents first grandbaby my Dad got sick with shingles and didn’t want her to know. My parents didn’t want to put stress on her, but boy did they get in trouble from her. So we all decided to tell all medical emergencies. So 3 years ago when my father was ill when I was pregnant with my 2nd daughter I wasn’t left out. He died suddenly when I was 6 mo pregnant and not a day goes by when that little girl doesn’t make me laugh like he did. (As I proofread this line she came over and smiled at me ;))
🏊 It’s impossible to know if you are making the right decisions for your children. To know if you or they are strong enough. The mother made this decision to keep this tragedy a secret from her older daughter and the whole family grieving the loss didn’t want the loss of another unborn/premature baby.
Gussie seemed to take everything in stride not really comprehending the way children do with death. The way my daughter still processes and copes. When her father was explaining that they couldn’t tell her mother she said, ok but why can’t the baby know? So many moments like this throughout the book reminded me of my daughter’s processing of loss. They are so wise and so whimsical at the same time about death.
There are secrets, heartbreak, a sweet romance which was a nice way to end the story since the beginning had a big loss and of course it’s 1930’s so a-hole Nazis. Ugh someone really needs to invent a time machine….
I recommend this book to those who love to read detailed stories and historical fiction. This story was loosely based on the author’s great great aunt. The young girl was her grandmother.
I had hoped to have read and reviewed this book before the release date (7/7) but a 2 day migraine and work slowed me down. This week is a hard one for me.🏊