Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Nazi Officer's Wife

Now that I have some down time from school work, I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately. It seems like I'm going through books faster than fresh green grass goes through a Canadian Goose.

Speaking of which, there were 2 Canadian Geese on the front lawn today. Very bizarre.

The 2 main reasons that I am reading like a fiend right now are,
1) I have a Kindle app on my tablet
2) I have an Amazon account

While having these e-readers is a convenient way to own books, since they are light-weight, easy to pack around and you don't need to be in a well-lit place to read them, the major drawback is that they make it way too easy to purchase books! As soon as you finish a book, hell you don't even need to be done it, Amazon will send you these little notes saying "If you liked "insert the name of the book you are currently reading" then we recommend books A, B, C and D!" So then curiosity takes over and you begin clicking on these recommended books and instantly become interested in them. From there it's just one teeny tiny step to purchase the book by clicking "Buy This Book" and WHAM! You bought it.

Too easy.

But now I'm even more addicted because they keep recommending really good books!

After watching the Academy Awards (the first time I watched it in about 15 years) I became interested in the movie "12 Years a Slave". I heard that it was a book before it was made into a movie so I decided to look into purchasing the book before seeing the movie (because the books are obviously always better than the movie).

Except for The Notebook. AWFUL book. Fantastic movie.

So I found 12 Years a Slave for a glorious $1.99 for purchase through Amazon. But I'm not gonna lie. It really wasn't that great of a book. While I enjoyed learning about the history and getting further reinforcement that white men were pure evil and committed horrible acts via slavery and stealing free men and turning them into slaves, the book was really no scream in hell. However, good 'ol Amazon was there to back me up with recommendations for more books which I might like.

The first book they recommended in the list was "The Nazi Officer's Wife" by Edith Hahn Beer. After reading the description, I thought that it looked really interesting, and for only 99 cents, how can I turn down such a deal?? And I am so glad I did make the purchase because it was a fantastic book! The Nazi Officer's Wife is a true story about an extremely brave Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by pretending to be a loyal Aryan and married a Nazi Officer to further the fa├žade. She was a very intelligent and well-educated woman who got stripped of everything for the simple reason of being Jewish. She was taken from Austria and forced into labour camps to work in horrendous conditions for several years.

When she was finally able to go home, the life she grew up in was shattered by war and hatred, so she went underground, fled to Germany and managed to gain a new identity through the help of a couple kind-hearted Aryans who explained what to do and how to do it without being caught. The story goes on to explain her daily life and the immense fear that she lived in every single minute of every single day. She meets a Nazi party member who is a good man and he falls madly in love with her (the "her" she is pretending to be) so she agrees to marry him to further her safety in the world that is crumbling from the Second World War.

Without giving too much away, I just wanted to say that it is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes to read well written books. The detail she puts into the story and the bravery she faced to survive such a devastating time in history, I found myself cheering her on with every triumph she faced and mourning for the loss that she went through to avoid becoming one of the millions of people who were murdered for merely being alive. The book has so much history and facts, plus she told the story in a way that took me back to that time, like I was seeing it though her detailed eyes. She didn't write that book to be famous or to be announced a hero or anything of the sort. She wrote that book because her daughter asked her to because she felt that the story was too important to not be shared with the world. I finished that book with misty eyes. Sounds silly, but it's true.

But now Amazon has recommended more books to me and alas, I pressed that damned "Buy This Book" button. The extra problem is that these historical books are so bloody cheap! 99 cents? Yes please! Yesterday I bought "The Bloodletter's Daughter"  which is a story based out of Prague in 1606. I'll let you know if it's as good as my previous purchase.

I also have 4 other books to read at the I said. It's just too easy to buy these stupid things.

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