I came away from this book astonished, once again, at the ability of someone to maintain faith, hope, and perseverance in the face of cruelty and suffering. In the ghetto, before concentration camps, Elli sees the good:
"For the first time in my life, I am happy to be a Jew. And I am happy to share this particular condition of Jewishness. The handsome boys, lively women, beautiful babies, gray-bearded old men—all in the same yard of oppression, together."In other places, Elli thanks God for respite from tragedy: the ability to drink filthy water, her mother's healing, a breath of air. Truly remarkable.
This book listed for young adult readers, but adults should not pass this up. This book, Zusak's The Book Thief and Elie Wiesel's Night, make a powerful trilogy of Holocaust reading. Another Holocaust memoir I've read in the past year is The Nazi Officer's Wife, which tells the story of how the author became a "U-boat": an Austrian Jew who went underground and emerged in Munich as an Aryan. All of these memoirs are painful, heartwrenching reads, but I think they are essential. We cannot become complacent; we cannot relegate these events to history.