Teenage sisters Astra and Frederieke are living on the edge of disaster as life in their beloved Czernowitz, Romania — which has always been filled with family, friends, school, dance classes, and ordinary complications — begins to implode in the pre – World War II era. Everything that’s important to them seems to be vanishing. With the Nazis and Soviets taking over, moments of safety and sanity become increasingly rare. Corruption, evil, goodness, and frailty all appear throughout the book; the story moves along at a dizzying pace. People vanish, unlikely saviors show up, and daily desperate decisions have to be made.
Each page of this extraordinary Holocaust story teems with nerve-tingling, edge-of-your-seat anxiety. Based on the life of the author’s own grandmother, the book continues to gain momentum, picking up tragedies and losses as it goes on. The sisters’ food becomes scarce, and friends and family members keep disappearing at an alarming rate. Their routines are tenuous at best, and horrifying rumors abound.
The Blood Years is a riveting addition to the Holocaust-literature canon that will keep the reader interested as the family saga unfolds.
Award-winning journalist and freelance writer, Helen Weiss Pincus, has taught memoir writing and creative writing throughout the NY Metro area to senior citizens and high school students. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Record, The Jewish Standard, and other publications. She recently added “Bubby” to her job description.