After Anatevka
The world knows well the tale of Tevye, the beloved Jewish dairyman from the shtetl Anatevka of Tsarist Russia. In stories originally written by Sholem Aleichem and then made world-famous in the celebrated musical Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters dealt with the outside influences that were encroaching upon their humble lives. But what happened to those remarkable characters after the curtain fell?In After Anatevka, Alexandra Silber picks up where “Fiddler” left off. Second-eldest daughter Hodel takes center stage as she attempts to join her Socialist-leaning fiancé Perchik to the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. But before Hodel and Perchik can finally be together, they both face extraordinary hurdles and adversaries—both personal and political—attempting to keep them apart at all costs.A love story set against a backdrop of some of the greatest violence in European history, After Anatevaka is a stunning conclusion to a tale that has gripped audiences around the globe for decades.

After Anatevka Details

TitleAfter Anatevka
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 4th, 2017
PublisherPegasus Books
ISBN1681774348
ISBN-139781681774343
Number of pages336 pages
Rating
GenreHistorical, Fiction, Adult Fiction, Cultural, Russia

After Anatevka Review

  • Rachel McMillan
    April 29, 2017
    Memory, she thought, is a sacred place. It is the place where the past is gathered—an inner synagogue where we make meaning of our existence. You know those books that just make you giddy because they are soooooo good and the author is SOOOO smart and you are just happy you live in a world where words can be outfitted to paint a splendid, moving, remarkable heart-stopping portrait of love and life and hope and ache and power?You know those books that just tug you into them and hold you tightly s Memory, she thought, is a sacred place. It is the place where the past is gathered—an inner synagogue where we make meaning of our existence. You know those books that just make you giddy because they are soooooo good and the author is SOOOO smart and you are just happy you live in a world where words can be outfitted to paint a splendid, moving, remarkable heart-stopping portrait of love and life and hope and ache and power?You know those books that just tug you into them and hold you tightly so that you look up and are surprised that you are on the subway and not sitting across from characters whose tongues drip simple wisdom and who are salt and light and everything that is flawed and flourishing about humanity?Image result for after anatevkaAfter Anatevka is that book. It is a globe, a sphere, one of those snowglobes you shake peering into the tiny world crafted perfectly and shrouded in flickering snowflakes. It is a capture of a moment of exquisite heartbreak against a brutal yet achingly lovely canvas that can never quell that which you cannot tether from a human: faith, hope, the best kind of once-in-a-million love.After Anatevka answers a question I revisit every time I see a production of Fiddler on the Roof: what happens after Hodel leaves Anatevka with the news that her beloved, the radically smart Perchik, has been transported to a Siberian prison?The door on her story is closed at the train station as she explains why she will go far from the home she loves to follow Perchik while her father Tevye, is confronted with one more way that the traditions of his past and his religion are fraying at the seams.I thought this was a fascinating premise for a novel and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was to encounter one of the smartest historical novels I have read in an age nor one of the most lyrical debut voices of my reading life.After Anatevka, is not a story so much as an experience and in lesser hands it could never embroider the pathos and light of a historical narrative tradition to create a melancholy and everlasting tapestry of hope.Yes, hope. For all the darkness undercutting Hodel’s imprisonments and Perchik’s suffering in the Siberian salt mines, the power of hope and the commitment to life ( hear L’Chaim! in your head) is the true theme of the story. Love knows no barriers. Love is a spiritual connection .Love has agency beyond borders and boundaries, deceit and despair.The bookrepresents Hodel and Perchik’s present: first Hodel incarcerated as a single woman in pursuit of her fiance in a kind of holding cell ( held in time and place at the mercy of waiting ) and then reunited with Perchik in Nerchinsk with respective flashbacks subverting every trope of romantic ballads with startling freshness. It is in flashbacks that Silber is at her most ingenious: colouring in the world of Hodel and her sisters and infusing a crash course in cultural norms in early 20th Century Russia. A treatise on the beauty of domesticity and the advocacy for women who think beyond the realm of their small town and customs are balanced to justify all female experience. The feminine sphere – either perfecting the baking of the challah or pursuing a man outside of your faith ( Chava) are seen as equal experiences and all worthy. In the latter half of the book, Perchik’s story is embroidered—and taken beyond the seams of anything grounded in its many nods to its theatrical counterpart and into Silber’s own imagination. While Hodel’s limitations are dictated by the rubrics of a woman’s place in Anatevka, so Perchik finds poverty and mental abuse by his uncle the chains that would keep him from pursuing life. And all while peeling back the curtain of their formative years, Silber forms the perfect pair--- allowing the reader to fully understand why Hodel would leave the safety of her home for a life of destitution and darkness and why Perchik pursued a forbidden dance with the dairyman’s daughter in a small village. Their connection is palpable and bursts off the page. Even while Hodel is drawn to the past: remembering, fingering through letters late delivered from her sister Tzeitel, we see that there was no other choice but for her to chase one half of her soul—Perchik---no matter the consequences.A large portion of the book follows the (expertly researched ) daily life of internment at a labour camp. Into this world, Silber broadens the circle with fluid, dimensional characters – both overseers and fellow prisoners—that add colour, human and life to its dreary toil.I just cannot say enough about this book. It is a world. Silber’s instincts are pitch perfect, drawing you in and tethering you to a tale remarkable in its praise of the fortitude of spirit and intelligence. Modern parallels ( the best aspect of historical fiction), encourage the reader to ponder how far they would go to speak and be heard. Faith is at the crux of Hodel and Perchik’s love, even as they find it beyond the metrics of the traditions that Tevye saw slipping from his family in the source musical. And all unfurling in an expertly woven tale full of self-awareness and beautiful language.“The pivot?” Hodel murmured.“The fulcrum. The turning point. In every story there is always a moment when the anchoring thread of the tapestry unravels. I don’t know that I have ever been inside that story until now.”“There is a kind of transaction that occurs between a person and a place: you give the place something and it gives you something in return. In years to come, Hodel would know for certain not only what Nerchinsk had taken, but what it had given her as well.”For theatre buffs, this book will excite you – yes, it does have several lovely nods to the musical so beloved. But for readers with no previous attachment to the story, rejoice! We have found an earth-shatteringly beautiful new voice in historical fiction—resplendent with passion and poetry. A perfect voice for excavating the little moments in humanity against the bleak brutality of Nerchinsk.And then, the descriptions (music!) “ Hodel admired how the broadness of his shoulders curved above the volume as if he were cradling the very thoughts upon the pages with his entire body.”“How exquisitely Nerchinsk sulks upon its gray and sorrowful bluff. How shafts of sun burst through the thick, low blanket of cloud above the village like stabs of hope from heaven.” (ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Dies of love)And the feminism “Hodel saw it through her sister’s eyes: women were created to be in every way partners, not mindless slaves or brainless doormats, but helpers, collaborators, equals. And that was a thing of great beauty”And the simple wisdom “For our greatest rewards, Hodel, sometimes we must endure.”“Perchik could no longer stand being believed in—belief was heavy; it was burning sunlight in his eyes.”And this : “ I wanted a woman who was somewhat like the moon. I would miss her when she was away and appreciate her when she returned, but I did not want her around all the time!”And this: “In two little words, all of Hodel’s life choices were suddenly obliterated by Tzeitel’s sense of domestic superiority” ( snortle. There are a lot of lovely sibling moments in this!)I had a full blown love affair with this book. It exceeded expectations I didn't know I had and then some. Pre-order two copies at least: one for you and one for the person you will immediately ache to share it with. This story is a love letter and love letters are never meant to experienced in solitude. With thanks to Pegasus and Netgalley for the review copy.
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  • The Library Lady
    May 15, 2017
    Oy vey iz mir!Okay, I am not exactly Little Mary Sunshine myself. And I know my history of this period. But I think that zillions of people who have loved the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," will be totally turned off by this story, which is loaded with torture, rape, incest, and general mayhem, and has a totally downbeat ending. That wasn't what "Fiddler" was about--there was hope till the very end of the story.This story is what Sholem Aleichem, the author of the original "Tevye" stories (and B Oy vey iz mir!Okay, I am not exactly Little Mary Sunshine myself. And I know my history of this period. But I think that zillions of people who have loved the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," will be totally turned off by this story, which is loaded with torture, rape, incest, and general mayhem, and has a totally downbeat ending. That wasn't what "Fiddler" was about--there was hope till the very end of the story.This story is what Sholem Aleichem, the author of the original "Tevye" stories (and BTW, totally unacknowledged in the author's interminable "thanks to" pages) would have called a "mish-mosh."Half of this is "Hodel Goes to the Gulag Archipelago", full of everything that is ugly about humanity. But the other half, interspersed with this narrative, is a series of flashbacks to life in Anatevka. And within that part are some lovely sequences about the sisters, about the indomitable Golde, about what it meant to be a Jewish woman in a shtetl in Czarist Russia. The sequence with the girls learning to bake challah is especially appealing.That's the story Silber could have told here, and truth to tell, she's a pretty good writer, with some very nice use of language. It wouldn't have been so dramatic, but it would have made for a much better book.
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  • Elizabeth
    May 15, 2017
    I saw Fiddler on the Roof for the very first time last May when it was on Broadway. Before that, I had never truly encountered Fiddler before. I knew "If I was Rich Man" from just being into theater and Broadway but I didn't know the story of Tevye, his family and the little town of Anatevka. But anyway my best friend and I rushed tickets, ended up with third row orchestra and I experienced the magic and heartbreak that was Fiddler on the Roof. May was the aftermath of my mental illness hitting I saw Fiddler on the Roof for the very first time last May when it was on Broadway. Before that, I had never truly encountered Fiddler before. I knew "If I was Rich Man" from just being into theater and Broadway but I didn't know the story of Tevye, his family and the little town of Anatevka. But anyway my best friend and I rushed tickets, ended up with third row orchestra and I experienced the magic and heartbreak that was Fiddler on the Roof. May was the aftermath of my mental illness hitting a peak, more like falling off a peak, and Fiddler seemed to come sweeping in to give my mind a rest. I fell in love with the music, the story and the cast that day. We would see Fiddler again in July before it closed in December. But Fiddler was the show to explain 2016, it was just always there. Somehow winning this book from the publisher through a giveaway here on Goodreads, a week or two before the year later seemed fitting.I remember Al Silber announcing that she was writing a book about Hodel and Perchik and what happens after Hodel broads that train to go to him but I was never prepared for the heartbreak that this book would give me and make me go through. The physical and emotional struggle that Hodel, and Perchik, went through in this book is unimaginable and yet feels so real. Silber makes you feel their pain, their love for each other and the love that Hodel has for her faith and family. You watch them both struggle but their strength never fails them. This book has left me an ache like all great books do and I know that it will stay with me like the music of Fiddler has as it is tradition.
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  • Sue
    May 23, 2017
    I received a readers copy free from Net Galley.The story of Hodel and Perchik from "Fiddler on the Roof" continues as Hodel follows Perchik into exile. Perchik has been exiled first to Omsk and then imprisoned in Nerchinsk for his revolutionary activities. In the novel we learn of Perchik's backstory and a little bit about what has happened to the rest of Hodel's family. I found the novel well thought out and an interesting read. Great for fans of the musical.
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  • Nicki Markus
    July 1, 2017
    After Anatevka is a book sure to delight literary-inclined musical theatre fans. It's clear that Silber has a great passion for the characters; it shows in her wonderful portrayal of them. Two of them, anyway. It may have been a mistake to say "what happened to those remarkable characters" in the blurb because, in truth, we only really see two of them: Hodel and Perchik. There are references to the others, but mostly in an historic sense, so this is really a continuation of Hodel's story, not th After Anatevka is a book sure to delight literary-inclined musical theatre fans. It's clear that Silber has a great passion for the characters; it shows in her wonderful portrayal of them. Two of them, anyway. It may have been a mistake to say "what happened to those remarkable characters" in the blurb because, in truth, we only really see two of them: Hodel and Perchik. There are references to the others, but mostly in an historic sense, so this is really a continuation of Hodel's story, not that of the entire family. That didn't worry me, though, since Hodel was always my favourite and I found it exciting to read how Silber envisaged her future. This is not a happy tale by any means, but it is an engaging one that takes into account the political and social situation in Russia at the time. Overall, this book will appeal mostly to fans of the musical; however, there is also a potential readership among historical fiction fans since you could still get something out of the story without knowing the musical. Though, knowledge of the show's plot will, of course, help.I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley.
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  • Mary Kate
    June 26, 2017
    I received this book through NetGalley. I'm a theater fan and an immigration historian, so Fiddler on the Roof is a favorite. The recent Broadway production really lodged itself in my heart, so when I heard that its Tzeitel, Alexandra Silber, had written a novel about her imagining of the Fiddler characters post-Anatevka, I was excited to see her vision of the world. I was not disappointed. Silber cradled the characters as we know and love them, but put them in new and challenging situations tha I received this book through NetGalley. I'm a theater fan and an immigration historian, so Fiddler on the Roof is a favorite. The recent Broadway production really lodged itself in my heart, so when I heard that its Tzeitel, Alexandra Silber, had written a novel about her imagining of the Fiddler characters post-Anatevka, I was excited to see her vision of the world. I was not disappointed. Silber cradled the characters as we know and love them, but put them in new and challenging situations that enables this novel to stand on its own, with or without the musical. The story of Hodel, following her fiancee and eventual husband to Siberia where he has been imprisoned for his political activities, is not the central story of the musical, so Silber had free reign to create this side of the story for herself, and her version is evocative, emotional, well-written, and relevant. It has all the rich detail I expect from a Russian novel, but a clarity and sharpness in the writing style that kept me turning pages. I could not have asked for more, or for a better epilogue to a favorite musical.
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  • Emily Wilson
    July 14, 2017
    “I am convinced that what joins all humanity together is our capacity to endure. Endurance is the condition under which we may feel both the glory of our distinctiveness and the depths of our sameness.”Endurance is one of the central themes of Fiddler on the Roof, as the indelible characters struggle to hold onto what they know and love as their world crumbles around them. In one of the most poignant, heartbreaking scenes in the show, Tevye bids farewell to his beloved second-eldest daughter Hod “I am convinced that what joins all humanity together is our capacity to endure. Endurance is the condition under which we may feel both the glory of our distinctiveness and the depths of our sameness.”Endurance is one of the central themes of Fiddler on the Roof, as the indelible characters struggle to hold onto what they know and love as their world crumbles around them. In one of the most poignant, heartbreaking scenes in the show, Tevye bids farewell to his beloved second-eldest daughter Hodel, who has chosen to leave the world of her childhood behind to find her fiance, Perchik - imprisoned in a Siberian labour camp for his political activity. In Fiddler, this is the culmination of Hodel’s story; In After Anatevka, it is the day she steps into her own shoes - the day her story truly begins. This novel is different in tone from it’s source (itself not exactly a “feel-good” musical) - it offers a meticulously researched, realistic, and thus often bleak description of life in a Russian katorga at the turn of the 20th century. Quite frankly, it is not for the faint of heart. But as dark as the tale may get, it is never without hope. Told in flooring prose and with such palpable passion that every word offered is given lovingly, the overwhelming message, not despite the darkness but perhaps because of it, is a commitment to life and to humanity, with entwining themes of endurance, faith, courage, and love. It is a story about the power of human connection in the face of adversity, be it familial bonds continuing despite great separation, love and friendship in the midst of destitution, or positive mentorship as experienced by a gifted and unloved child. The power of faith is explored in several contexts, and faith is a port in the storm for both Hodel and Perchik - their religious faith, faith in each other, and faith in humanity. It is a portrait of the kind of bravery and fortitude it takes to stand up for one’s convictions under the most pervasive of authorities, and of the intelligence and spirit of the people who have the will to change the world - a portrait both age-old and very relevant. There have always been, and always will be, people like Perchik and Hodel. And of course, I would be remiss to not mention the love, which leaps off the page at every twist and turn. Hodel and Perchik’s love is the life force of the story - it is what sustains and inspires them (and, vicariously, the reader as well). Their connection is only purified by the despair that surrounds and threatens them, resulting in something full, fearless, and wrenchingly beautiful. This novel is, quite simply, a miracle (of miracles!). It is at once deeply desperate, achingly romantic, and utterly inspiring. I cannot commend Alexandra Silber enough, and cannot recommend this book enough to anyone wishing for a story that will no less than burn itself onto your heart. L’chaim!!
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  • Monica Garland
    July 16, 2017
    I saw Miss Silber as Tzeitel on Broadway last year and I was very impressed by her performance, I could see everything that was happening in Tzeitel's mind and a whole deep, intense, true story in her eyes even in scenes where her character wasn't the main focus, it was an amazing theatrical experience that changed my perception of the show and the character. I became a fan of hers immediately. I was super excited when I heard she was writing a book about Hodel and Perchik, If I had seen so many I saw Miss Silber as Tzeitel on Broadway last year and I was very impressed by her performance, I could see everything that was happening in Tzeitel's mind and a whole deep, intense, true story in her eyes even in scenes where her character wasn't the main focus, it was an amazing theatrical experience that changed my perception of the show and the character. I became a fan of hers immediately. I was super excited when I heard she was writing a book about Hodel and Perchik, If I had seen so many things in her eyes when acting, how much was I going to learn about these characters in an actual novel? As I expected I LOVED this book, couldn't take it down! The story is fascinating and you can tell how passionate she is about this characters, how she did her research and how good she is with words (by the way, follow her blog London Still).I have to say if you want a light fairytale love story, this is not for you. This is a very well researched and flawlessly descriptive historical novel that follows a jewish girl following her revolutionary prisoner fiancé in early 20th Century Russia... that being said:The love story between Hodel and Perchik is beautiful, it really warmed my heart and made me cry a couple of times. It's deep, profound and heartbreakingly real.The flashbacks to Anatevka make you love and understand the characters you already know and love even more (I specially loved a chapter in book one where the girls learned bread-making with their mother and one in book three with Tzeitel's wedding). Book three is filled with nail-biting, heart-stopping excitement. I found myself shivering and breathing irregularly. Her thoughts on womanhood, sisterhood, traditions, ideals, life, the world and God are food for the soul, I could quote her and keep raving about it, but I know I can't do it justice (specially not in my native language) so all I can say is PLEASE, READ IT, you won't regret it.I highly recommend this book, to everyone, Fiddler and non-Fiddler fans, it's an amazing story on its own and Miss Silber a marvelous storyteller. Can't wait to read her upcoming book!
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  • Kristin
    July 21, 2017
    Hello. Book. Hangover.After seeing the most recent Fiddler revival on Broadway, I was so excited to hear that Alexandra Silber was going to release this book. Let me tell you - it does NOT disappoint. And just a note: I certainly don't think one has to have seen this show to appreciate it (helpful but not completely necessary).After Anatevka imagines Hodel & Perchik's future after she leaves her home to be with him in a mining camp in Siberia. The devastation that Hodel, Perchik and their fe Hello. Book. Hangover.After seeing the most recent Fiddler revival on Broadway, I was so excited to hear that Alexandra Silber was going to release this book. Let me tell you - it does NOT disappoint. And just a note: I certainly don't think one has to have seen this show to appreciate it (helpful but not completely necessary).After Anatevka imagines Hodel & Perchik's future after she leaves her home to be with him in a mining camp in Siberia. The devastation that Hodel, Perchik and their fellow prisoners endured left me heartbroken. Interspersed is Perchik's backstory as well as Hodel's memories of her home life and family. Tevye, Golde and their daughters are brought to such vivid life here, their nuances so tenderly crafted. I also found the characters introduced (at the camp, etc) to be fascinating.Hodel & Perchik's story is not a happy one. There were times, especially near the end, where I audibly gasped in shock & sadness. But the love, bravery & endurance woven through this story is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. It is very rare a thing for me to highlight quotes while reading, but I found myself doing this often. Ms. Silber has a stunning way with words. She was able to inject incredible depth and glimpses of hope & humor in just the right places. I'm admittedly not the biggest historical fiction reader, but fell in love with this book. A must read for any Fiddler on the Roof fan.
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  • Bj
    July 26, 2017
    Like most people i loved Fiddler on the Roof. I won After Anatevka in a Goodreads give-a-way. Love that. This book is about what happens to Hodel after she gets on that train to go and be with Perchik. It covers their history and includes allusions and flashbacks to her family and village so it has a quality of being sweetly familiar. "Jewishness and humanness' inform the characters.But the mass appeal of Fiddler on the Roof is also echoed in some of the universal truths and themes Alexandra Sil Like most people i loved Fiddler on the Roof. I won After Anatevka in a Goodreads give-a-way. Love that. This book is about what happens to Hodel after she gets on that train to go and be with Perchik. It covers their history and includes allusions and flashbacks to her family and village so it has a quality of being sweetly familiar. "Jewishness and humanness' inform the characters.But the mass appeal of Fiddler on the Roof is also echoed in some of the universal truths and themes Alexandra Silber weaves into her writing and that is what makes this book able to stand on it's own.It is a look at the world at a time and and place that one cannot easily imagine (Siberia) through the eyes of a courageous, virtuous and innocent young girl as she makes a decision to follow her heart.
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  • Harry Wingfield
    July 19, 2017
    I have been looking forward to reading this book since the first announcement of its publish date. It does not disappoint. The author, Alexandra Silber, has played the role of Tevye's second daughter, Hodel, in London and Tevye's eldest, Tzeitel, in the recent revival of Fiddler on Broadway. In this book, she weaves the backstories she created for her characters into a narrative, based on history, of what fate awaited Hodel when she united with her beloved Perchik in Siberia. Her gift for story I have been looking forward to reading this book since the first announcement of its publish date. It does not disappoint. The author, Alexandra Silber, has played the role of Tevye's second daughter, Hodel, in London and Tevye's eldest, Tzeitel, in the recent revival of Fiddler on Broadway. In this book, she weaves the backstories she created for her characters into a narrative, based on history, of what fate awaited Hodel when she united with her beloved Perchik in Siberia. Her gift for story telling breathes new life into the characters, and creates a compelling tale. I hope she continues to write.
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  • Margaret Sankey
    June 2, 2017
    Every time I see Fiddler on the Roof, I think--Don't stop in Poland. Keep going until you get to New York. Silber, though, follows Hodel and her revolutionary husband Perchik, who gets his own tragic backstory as the illegitimate child of a merchant family in Kiev who finds an outlet for his brilliance in reform politics rather than the shul. This is not musical theater--Hodel follows him to a grim mining prison camp in Eastern Siberia, and the novel wraps up in 1911, long before any grand hopes Every time I see Fiddler on the Roof, I think--Don't stop in Poland. Keep going until you get to New York. Silber, though, follows Hodel and her revolutionary husband Perchik, who gets his own tragic backstory as the illegitimate child of a merchant family in Kiev who finds an outlet for his brilliance in reform politics rather than the shul. This is not musical theater--Hodel follows him to a grim mining prison camp in Eastern Siberia, and the novel wraps up in 1911, long before any grand hopes can come to pass.
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  • Pam
    June 24, 2017
    This was not the feel good story that I was hoping for. "HOPE" is all that Hodel and Perchik have.This is a story that creates a lot of emotion. I felt the bitter bitter cold. I gasp right out loud during some of the more gruesome scenes (there are a few). I felt the love between Hodel and Perchik. That love is what kept me going to the end.Thanks to netgalley and Pegasus Books for this advanced readers copy.
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  • Karen Fazekas
    July 8, 2017
    I didn't need to knowI found this book terribly depressing. I think I was better off imagining the horrors that Hodel and Perchik experienced in Siberia. While I appreciate the author's intent, this was not for me!
  • Jessie (Ageless Pages Reviews)
    June 15, 2017
    3.5/5
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