RELEASE DATE: November 18, 2020
Ellie Midwood is an expert wordsmith and brilliant storyteller. This story is a sumptuous feast of words amid the starving and bleak setting of Auschwitz, and she contrasts her main character’s angelic artistic abilities against the dark demonic depravity of the SS, especially when she introduces the characters such as Mengele, the notorious Doctor of Death.
Without giving too much away, since I am already telling the reader of this review to get this book as soon as possible for your next read, I will highlight some of my favorites lines – lines that broke my heart. I was immersed from the first paragraph and by chapter five, I was in tears. The tears never left and I read this in one sitting, not from the ease of the read, but from the sheer inability to put it down.
So many lines stood out for me, such as: “Hatred aged them just as fast as suffering aged their victims. Alma thought it to be a form of poetic justice.” or “Sensitivity doesn’t live long here. Sensitivity gets people killed.” or “Alma stepped outside the warehouse, a pillowcase bursting at the seams with dead people’s belongings, the bright August sun spilled its golden light onto her with astonishing insolence.” or, oh my, I could go on and on. This novel lacks nothing in the availability of highlighter-worthy passages and sentences – ones I will certainly go back and read again and again.
The immense skill of showing the contrast between the light airy beautiful music from a violin against the stark gruesome darkness of the realities of Auschwitz proved Ellie Midwood’s genius as a writer. Within one novel, she captured the essence of hope and despair, of life and death, of humanity and inhumanity, and of the sheer will and strength this incredible woman showed in the face of utter deplorable insanity.
Bravo, Ellie, Bravo! Your name is now added to my favourite author’s list!!
(This book review will be permanently posted on my “Nest of the Best” page!!)