Saturday, November 28, 2009

Day After Night - Anita Diamant

This is the latest from the author of The Red Tent and Good Harbor. While countless books have been written about the Holocaust, people being taken to concentration camps or fighting for survival within those camps, Diamant's story takes place in an internment camp for Jewish immigrants. The people in the camp managed to escape Nazi Germany only to find themselves detained behind barbed wire by a British army refusing them entry into Palestine. In 1945, more than 200 of the detainees were rescued by a special operations unit of a Jewish underground militia organization in Palestine. With this true event as a backdrop, Diamant tells the story of four young women in the camp. Each one has a different story of survival - and the price they paid for their own lives. They each live with secrets and nightmares, unsure of who to trust, and forgetful of how to love. They carry guilt and shame with them for atrocities they themselves did not commit. But, they work together to relearn how to live their lives in a new camp and later in a new country. Like any work about this period in history, Day After Night was a difficult read for me. It is filled with so much seemingly avoidable sadness, but at the same time, is a reminder of the strength of the human spirit, and the desire to live on even when faced with the worst the world has to offer.

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