"By the time I was five years old, I had spent half my life hidden away in a barn loft." So begins a Jewish girl's account of her childhood amid the ruins of World War II. The time is 1944, the setting a Polish town which has just been liberated from the Germans by the Red Army. While adults mourn what is lost forever, the narrator explores a world forbidden to her for so long, discovering the pleasures of the senses and the company of other children. An autobiographical novel by a writer from Montreal.
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DobrydUser Review - Book Verdict
This autobiographical first novel is a spare, unsentimental memoir of a young Jewish girl growing up in a chaotic environment at the end of World War II. The unnamed narrator is five years old when she, her mother, and her aunt are liberated by Soviet soldiers from two and a half years of hiding from the Nazis in a barn outside the Polish city of Dobryd. Along with other survivors, they reclaim the ruined city, moving into bombed-out buildings, erecting a flimsy market, and bartering their meager possessions for food. The narrator quickly adjusts to her new life of playing and scavenging with other children in the ruins. But her aunt still lives in the past, recounting fascinating stories of her prewar life in the family's country house. Looking only to the future, her mother disapproves of these tales as she gets a job as translator and eventually moves the family to Canada to escape the continuing persecution of Jews in Poland. Charney has produced an illuminating document of an unusual time and place. Recommended for general readers.-Patricia Ross, Westerville P.L., Ohio
Review: DobrydUser Review - Goodreads
This is a memoir of Ann Charney's family's life just following WWII. She and her cousin, mother and aunt (Jewish) hid out in a false roof of a barn with other Polish Jews and they were amongst the ...