Monday, July 13, 2020

A Bend in the Stars
by Rachel Barenbaum

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 480
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. Since their parents drowned fleeing to America, Miri and Vanya have been raised by their babushka, a famous matchmaker who has taught them to protect themselves at all costs: to fight, to kill if necessary, and always to have an escape plan. But now, with fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much?


Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. As the eclipse that will change history darkens skies across Russia, not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.


Kritters Thoughts:  In Russia, the cusp of World War I and many people are feeling the effects of a war on the brink of exploding.  Miri Ambramov was just beginning her career as a surgeon when her mega smart brother is about to make headway on Einstein's theory of relativity.  She and her fiance, drop everything to help Vanya get to the eclipse where he can possibly make a discovery and change the world.  

Most of this book was a chase or road trip book with two sets moving trying to outrun and outmaneuver the bad guys while at the same time hunting for something.  Although at times, I wasn't completely loving the story, the pacing throughout was fantastic.  The author was able to keep the story moving and keep me reading until the end.  

I also enjoyed this book because the time and place felt unique.  I don't read a lot of books that are set in Russia and during World War I.  World War II ends up being the more typical time that I read about, so I enjoyed the fact that this was different from my typical time and place.  

I found out after reading that this was a debut novel and it made me more impressed by the book.  I would look more closely at her next book and possibly dive in.  


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Grand Central Publishing.  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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