War on the Margins

Lib­by Cone
  • Review
By – January 10, 2012
Author Lib­by Cone has adapt­ed her Master’s the­sis into a nov­el about a lit­tle known aspect of Jew­ish his­to­ry dur­ing World War II. While the bat­tle raged in Europe, the small islands off the Eng­lish coast­line were declared a demil­i­ta­rized zone by Churchill in order to make a strate­gic pull­back to defend the main­land of Eng­land. The Nazis seized upon this oppor­tu­ni­ty to take pos­ses­sion of the islands and use them in their war efforts against Eng­land from the shores of France. 

The book is filled with detailed infor­ma­tion about how the Nazi occu­pa­tion slow­ly took con­trol of the admin­is­tra­tion of the dai­ly lives of the island’s cit­i­zens, and even­tu­al­ly, the rights of all Jew­ish cit­i­zens. Woven between the his­tor­i­cal facts is the fic­tion­al sto­ry of one woman who went into hid­ing due to the small island resis­tance move­ment. The book is weak­est in the char­ac­ter devel­op­ment and sto­ry line of the fic­tion­al char­ac­ters. Nev­er­the­less, the actors in the sto­ry are por­trayed as deeply human, at once flawed and hero­ic when faced with tyran­ny and injus­tice. The book effec­tive­ly con­veys the insight that any human can make a sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence when faced with the choice to do good or evil.
Bar­bara Andrews holds a Mas­ters in Jew­ish Stud­ies from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go, has been an adult Jew­ish edu­ca­tion instruc­tor, and works in the cor­po­rate world as a pro­fes­sion­al adult educator.

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