Sharon Cameron

  • Review
By – February 3, 2022

There are many Holo­caust-themed nov­els writ­ten for young adults on the mar­ket today, but rarely does one find one writ­ten from the per­spec­tive of Ger­man youth and set in the time peri­od short­ly after World War II. The sto­ry, writ­ten as a thriller, alter­nates between the expe­ri­ences of two pairs of young women: Eva and Brig­it, who now live in the Unit­ed States and strug­gle to find their ways in an unfa­mil­iar envi­ron­ment; and Inge and Annemarie, Ger­man girls nav­i­gat­ing life dur­ing the war.

Brig­it is unwell and has clear­ly suf­fered an emo­tion­al break­down. Eva patient­ly cares for her as she search­es for the where­abouts of her own father, a Nazi doc­tor who per­pe­trat­ed hor­ri­fy­ing exper­i­ments on Jews dur­ing the war. She vows to exact revenge on her father as she learns more about his cru­el and inhu­man activ­i­ties. As Eva con­tin­ues to dis­cov­er details about her own dis­turb­ing past, she is befriend­ed by Jake, a young Jew­ish man who hopes to help her make sense of her his­to­ry and ease her tran­si­tion into her new life. The read­er slow­ly begins to under­stand the con­nec­tions between the two pairs of young women while learn­ing much about the time peri­od as well as about Project Blue­bird, a CIA ini­tia­tive cre­at­ed to learn more about the hor­ri­fy­ing Nazi psy­cho­log­i­cal exper­i­ments on which the sto­ry is based. Although the sto­ry is fic­tion­al­ized, Project Blue­bird actu­al­ly existed.

A page-turn­er until the end, this fast-paced sto­ry has some dis­turb­ing ele­ments but will keep the read­er thor­ough­ly engaged and edu­cat­ed in some aspects of Holo­caust with which they may be unfamiliar.

Cindy Wiesel is an Eng­lish teacher in Israel and leads a week­ly book club for adults. She has edit­ed teacher resource mate­ri­als and served as a col­lec­tion advi­sor to school libraries.

Discussion Questions