Since according to this post I saw today on Facebook, today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, it seems appropriate to tell you about one of the most recent books I have read and reviewed. If you care about what happened during that second World War, don't miss this book:
When you flunk high school history, it’s a sure sign history isn’t your thing. But then, along comes an incredible book like No Woman’s Land, a novel based on the Holocaust by Ellie Midwood, and even a non-history fan like me is unable to put it down.
Midwood has succeeded where all my history teachers failed: she grabbed my attention and held it for 277 pages as she shared the love story of two people who were never supposed to love each other: Ilse Stern, a German Jew and Willy Schultz, a Luftwaffe Captain. And yes, these two people did exist and those are their real names. Several of the other characters named in No Woman’s Land also existed.
But while the beautifully delivered love story was as touching as it gets, it was Midwood’s riveting descriptions of the inhumanity of the SS to the German and Russian Jews that made me choke up. Sure, I’ve seen plenty of documentaries and films based on that horrible time in history, but somehow, Midwood’s graphic details shocked me more. Perhaps it was because she helped us “see” the actual abuse and slaughter through Ilse’s eyes. As a reader, I felt I was watching the nearly frozen Jewish women lugging wood to heat the German officers’ offices. I could better see that German officer who liked children tossing them candies in the death pits while they waited to be massacred. And I could better feel Ilse’s own hopelessness as she and her suffering women friends faced each new day wondering if this was their last. What a horrid way to live month after month for no reason other than you are a Jew. Haunting and mind-blowing!
If stories about the Holocaust are on your bucket list, make sure you add No Woman’s Land to it immediately. Ellie Midwood has thoroughly researched her subject and characters to bring truth into fiction. She has written other books on this subject and after reading this, I know why she is a “USA best selling and award-winning historical fiction author”. This lady knows how to deliver an unforgettable and haunting novel based on reality. 5 stars!
©Viga Boland, author and book reviewer