22 May 2011

How Huge the Night, Book Review

Publisher's description:
Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens.
Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.
Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.
Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.

And now for my review:

Since this book is based on actual events, I was compelled to read it as soon as I received the opportunity to review it. Three nights later I closed the book and held my hand upon its cover. There is something that draws you to certain subjects for one reason or another...This one is particularly close to my heart and I am thankful to Heather and Lydia Munn for writing such a heartwarming book.

For many in Europe there is an undeniable hauntingness about the occupation. Much is still hush hushed about the ensuing period's deeds and thoughts. We see the invasion of countries most often through the eyes of adults. Through their stories we feel the loss of freedom and honour, we experience a hint of their helpleness as we learn of rationing and depravation, sometime imprisoning or disapearance...We remember the stories about the Resistance and whispers of good and bad deeds...

Seen throught the eyes of this small French village and their youth we are shown a different aspect of war, one which involves not just the adults but its young people as well. This is a time of conflict and choices have to be made.Theirs is a story of survival!
There is no right or wrong, good or bad when your life is on the line. Hope is all your have, the determination to live another day and ultimately to obtain once again your freedom! None are safe, danger surrounds and decisions must be made. Your only comfort, God is listening! Or is He?

Wonderfully researched, beautifully written, this is a story that will take your breath away. Honest, compelling, How Huge The Night is a book which you soon realize does not shy from the true aspects of occupation.
I found myself remembering an other time, harsh decisions and I will admit to having been near tears! War time occupation was nothing short of a difficult time to grow up!
Albeit geared to the younger generation I am told, I find this is a timeless story and I see no reason not to recommend to adults as well. 
A perfect 5 stars!

I received this book free from Litfuse as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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