Hard subject matter, very good book!

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chelseyjeanne Avatar


I love nonfiction the most when the author has a clear stake in it. Gwen Strauss makes no secret that one of The Nine is her great aunt. There is enough of a connection to pull us through the book, but also I think the perfect amount of objective distance.

Admittedly, this book was harder to read than I thought it would be. I forgot that in order to get to the hopeful end, there had to be suffering. The accounts of the labor camps were at times interesting, but even when there were happier moments, they definitely weren't happy. Just maybe a little less terrible. Still contained in the landscape of horrors.

I liked meeting each of The Nine and really enjoyed their personal histories before the camps. I loved reading about all of their different motivations and the journeys that ultimately led them to each other. Somehow I felt that those beginning narratives were more interesting than the resolutions after everything was said and done.