Sunday, December 14, 2014

Escape In Time by Ronit Lowenstein-Malz

  • Description

    Nessya’s grandmother, Miri Eneman Malz, has friends, a loving family—and a secret: she is a Holocaust survivor. When twelve-year-old Nessya learns the truth, she wants to know what happened. After decades of silence, Grandma Miri decides it’s time to tell her story.

    It all begins one terrible day in the spring of 1944, when Germany crosses Hungary’s border and soldiers arrive in Miri’s hometown of Munkács. Suddenly, the Jews are trapped and in danger.

    Surrounded by war and unimaginable hatred, the family makes a daring escape. But that is only the beginning, and over the course of the year new threats continually confront them. Incredibly, despite numerous close calls, they defy the odds and live.

    Based upon actual memoirs, this is the story of the Eneman family . . . of their remarkable ingenuity, astonishing luck, boundless courage, and unending love.


    My take on this book:
  • Escape In Time By Ronit Lowenstein-Malz is the story of the Eneman family whose sheer determination along with plenty of luck allowed them to survive the Holocaust, what makes this a heart rending story is the fact that it is based on an actual family that lived thru this horrible time in history. An emotionally charged story that is often suspenseful, but also provides small bits of humor that makes for a story with real life characters that aren't easy to forget once you finish the final page.

Nessya finds it almost impossible to believe that her grandma Miri is a survivor of the Holocaust, but her best friend Rachel is certain that she is because she overheard a conversation where it was suggested that Miri be invited to speak at the Holocaust Remembrance Day program. Nessi wants to ask her mom because surely she knows the truth, but Rachel reminds her that many families don't like to talk about it. Instead she convinces Nessi that they need to investigate and solve the mystery on their own, but when that plan fails they ask Nessi's mother anyway and she suggests that they talk to grandma Miri.  What will Nessi learn when she talks to her grandmother?

Ronit Lowenstien-Malz's characters literally jump from the pages of Escape In Time. She not only captures the fear and uncertainty that they felt, but also the hope and love that knits this family together. I found myself mesmerized by the telling of this story that was so rich in detail that I honestly felt like I was witnessing history take place within the pages of the story.While we feel the emotions of the characters that survived the ordeal of the Holocaust we are also allowed to see how the information impacts Nessya as she reads her grandmother's story. Reading the "diary letters" added a unique element to the telling of the story by providing snippets of the family's daily struggles, showing how fate intervened on more than one occasion to keep them safe.  Ms. Malz tells does a wonderful job of balancing detail and age appropriate information together to make for a story that will appeal to young and old alike. An easy to understand, yet informative story that is based on an actual family that survived the Holocaust. 

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