I admit readily, and you above all others know, that I strive to dwell among sweet and gentle things; that my thoughts and words focus on the delights of this world found in Nature and that I seek always the hearts of fellow human beings.
But I assure you that I do not turn away from the brokenness of this world, the cruelty and misdeeds that pass as human interactions. All people of conscience, all people of heart, all people who seek to be nourished by and to nourish our beloved world, must not turn away from the good they can bring to their small circle of influence. It is these small circles, radiating out and out into the broader world, into the expansive and expanding universe, which are our gifts to Life, to Love to one another and to the future.
With that in mind, I present this month’s Book Review, a reading selection unlike my usual fare. It is a prod to your memory and conscience, to recall not only the fate of Jews during the Hollocaust, but the fate of many many more innocent folk then, and since then, whose lives have been snuffed out by the fear of the other, by the lust for power, by the greed of some to consume what is due the many.
May your hearts remain open to the good and sweet things of this world, and may you never cease to defend and protect the innocence within yourself and others.
by Martha Hall Kelly
A fascinating read!
Caroline’s charity work for French orphans becomes ever more urgent as Hitler’s army marches into Paris. And as European cities fall like dominos to Nazi control, she deepens her involvement, her life eventually colliding with the lives of two other women–a Polish resistance fighter, and a German doctor.
Narrated by way of three distinct voices, Kelly masterfully recounts world events from 1939 to 1959 as well as their inevitable human toll. The author sweeps readers into the action, into the hearts and minds of characters real and imagined, proving herself careful in research and storytelling.
And while my preferred mode of reading is Braille, I found this professionally produced version of Lilac Girls particularly difficult to set aside. The three main characters, Caroline, Kasha and Herta, are presented by three different, distinctly American, Polish and German readers. The result is more like the unfolding of a movie than a book.
**While not extreme in language, descriptions of sex and violence make Lilac Girls more suited for mature readers.