What I Loved:
Susan Shalev’s writing sucked me into this story. I would be distracted while I was reading by something (a child or my husband) and I felt like I was coming out of a trance. I truly stepped into the pages of this book and was pulled into these character’s lives.
How I Felt:
When I started this book, I fully expected this to be a story surrounding a concentration camp, however, I was completely surprised to find that it was not. Instead, Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections tells a different journey, just as important, but not as well known. When Tanya’s family must flee Poland, their next steps take them to Russia. Their story is one of perseverance, love, and determination.
While this story is a fictionalized story, it is based in truth from her late mother-in-law’s re-tellings, as it is her story. I found the story to be utterly captivating, and whether memoir, or fiction, it was wonderful.
To Read or Not To Read:
As this was a beautiful, well-told story, I would recommend this book to any historical fiction fans!
What’s This Book About Anyway?
Tanya has lived in Nowy Sacz, Poland her entire life. Then, talk of the Nazi invasions in neighboring areas begins, and Tanya’s family knows it is time to leave. Their travels to their next stop are riffled with air raids and nazi machine guns. Danger is around every turn in the road.
They manage to find refuge in Russia and start to put down roots only to be uprooted by Russian soldiers giving them an ultimatum. Their choices taken them on a grueling trip by train and boat to a work camp in Siberia. There, they encounter new troubles to overcome. Their story continues to take them from place to place; each leaving a lasting impression on the family.
Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections is a fictionalized memoir that will have you reading late into the night to see what happens next.
Where To Find This Book:
I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.
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