Thursday, June 11, 2020

Review: Victoria's War by Catherine Hamilton

Victoria's War by Catherine Hamilton

Publisher: Plain View Press
Pages: 276
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads: POLAND, 1939: Nineteen-year-old Victoria Darski is eager to move away to college: her bags are packed and her train ticket is in hand. But instead of boarding a train to the University of Warsaw, she finds her world turned upside down when World War II breaks out.

Victoria’s father is sent to a raging battlefront, and the Darski women face the cruelty of the invaders alone. After the unthinkable happens, Victoria is ordered to work in a Nazi sewing factory. When she decides to go to a resistance meeting with her best friend, Sylvia, they are captured by human traffickers targeting Polish teenagers. Sylvia is singled out and sent to work in the brothels, and Victoria is transported in a cattle car to Berlin, where she is auctioned off as a slave.

GERMANY, 1941: Twenty-year-old Etta Tod is at Mercy Hospital, where she’s about to undergo involuntary sterilization because of the Fuhrer’s mandate to eliminate hereditary deafness. Etta, an artist, silently critiques the propaganda poster on the waiting room wall while her mother tries to convince her she should be glad to get rid of her monthlies. Etta is the daughter of the German shopkeepers who buy Victoria at auction in Berlin.

The stories of Victoria and Etta intertwine in the bakery’s attic where Victoria is held—the same place where Etta has hidden her anti-Nazi paintings. The two women form a quick and enduring bond. But when they’re caught stealing bread from the bakery and smuggling it to a nearby work camp, everything changes.

Kritters Thoughts:  Victoria and Etta are two women whose lives will be greatly impacted by World War II and they will completely impact each other.  Victoria becomes a prisoner due to her heritage, she is Polish and that is seen as an "other" in Hitler's eyes.  Etta is a prisoner to her family due to her being born deaf and that being seen as a complete defect.  When these women come together they end up doing some real good for the community.  

Both Victoria and Etta's stories had moments that were so so hard to read.  From abuse to rape, the things these women went through just trying to live were beyond anything I could imagine enduring.  These women visit Polish prison camps and even a maternity ward and are able to sneak in extra supplies, but they are looked at as the lucky ones which I couldn't wrap my head around!  

With all of the World War II books that are out there to read, this one was really hard for me to read.  I understand that the parts that were hard to read were based in truth, but they were just to graphic which made the book unenjoyable for me.  If you are a reader who has read a majority of the books that take place during World War II and are unafraid of reading about graphic scenes then this book would be right up your alley.  

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more
Ebook 2020 Challenge: 50 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Mindbuck Media.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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