Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Those Who Save Us - Jenna Blum

Julia - our resident guest blogger is back!

Jenna Blum’s first novel, Those Who Save Us, is a powerful story within a story set both in Second World War II Germany, and in modern day Minnesota.

The story is of a German History professor, Trudy, who becomes obsessed with learning the truth of her mother’s experience in Nazi Germany. Anna, Trudy’s mother, won’t talk about her life in Germany and Trudy harbours a misguided belief about who her father is based on one surviving photo from that time; that of Trudy, her mother, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald.

Ms. Blum gradually reveals the truth about Anna’s life in Germany. This is a story of a mother’s fierce love and what she will do to protect her daughter, set against the grim reality of the effort needed to survive in a harsh and unforgiving time. It is also a story of the shame that carries people throughout their lives, and how it is so easy to misjudge those around us.

This is one of those books that stays with you. I think about it even weeks after finishing the last page. It is a compelling story, but also has something to teach us as citizens of the world. Although it is definitely not a happy story, the underlying theme of a mother’s love makes you want to continue reading, even through the more difficult passages.

This is a good book club book. A reader’s guide is available at the back of the book, or online.

Until next time,

Luanne’s Guest Blogger,



Anna said...

Wow, this sounds great! Maybe another to add to my list for the WWII reading challenge. Would it be okay to post a link to your review on War Through the Generations?

Diary of an Eccentric

Luanne said...

Absolutely Anna - Julia will be thrilled!

fredamans said...

Looks like a great book!

Check out my blog for Teaser Tuesday; http://fredasvoice.blogspot.com/

Jenny said...

This is one of those that has been on my I MUST read this book TBR for ages! I truly am going to try to have this one read by the end of the year!

mpartyka said...

This book has been added to my shortlist for 2010 (first half) book club selections! I can't wait to finalize the list... in Oct/Nov.

Great review

Carolina Gal's Literary Cafe said...

I read this book a few years ago with my book club. It was great. Especially that Jenna, the author spoke to us. Unfortunately she does not do speaker phone chats anymore because of her busy schedule. I loved the book. I forgot that I was reading non-fiction. We were having the book discussion and started talking like it was true.

bermudaonion said...

This book sounds fantastic and it would count for the WWII Challenge! Thanks for the review, Julia.

Mrs Suvi said...

What an interesting book, definitely on my wish list now! I love the name of the book as well.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've been meaning to read this for some time. It sits on my shelf :(

Julia said...

As Luanne says - I am thrilled to have you post the review.
Hope you enjoy the book.
And Carolina - I agree, I totally forgot that this was fiction!
Thanks for posting the review Luanne.

Debb said...

I read this book a while ago, so I really don't remember all of the details; but, I do agree with you that it is a very good book and very thought provoking. This book brought to life a horrible time and what people did to survive.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

My book club has this on our list. After the one Holocaust memoir that we read, I'm a bit skittish, but everyone wants it to stay on our list.

Anna said...

Thanks! I've posted the link here.

Diary of an Eccentric