Thursday, September 9, 2021

Review: The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman

The Living and the Lost
by Ellen Feldman

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. 

Kritters Thoughts:  A book that starts in a post World War II Berlin as they are dealing with the repercussions of the war and they rebuild a city and a country into something that the people can be proud of.  

For me this book really enlightened me of the feelings that people had as they were returning to their homeland and wanting to get rid of the people who were responsible for the destruction.  I never considered the feelings of not just the Jewish population, but anyone who fled the Nazi regime and how they would want to exterminate anyone associated with the horrible Nazi agenda.  I really appreciated this different viewpoint and made me want to read more books that take place in this unique moment right after the war.

I have said this a few times on this blog and I mean it every time, but this one felt unique and while we don't want to forget the horror of the concentration camps of World War II, it is nice to read a book that takes a look at this time, but doesn't go to the far deep end.  

I do not want to bring politics into a blog about books, but reading this book while the news was dominated by the evacuation of Afghan people out of their country was eery and made me really listen to their stories a little closer.  Interesting how a book about a time period that is more than 70 years ago can still relate to news in 2021.  

My third Ellen Feldman book and while I have a few left in her backlist to read, I have loved each of the ones I have completed and am excited to see what she has coming next.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 108 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  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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