Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: The Devil's Arithmetic

Title: The Devil's Arithmetic
Author: Jane Yolen
Rating: 4/5

This critically acclaimed novel by award-winning author Jane Yolen is now available in a beautifully designed new edition. Hannah dreads going to her family's Passover Seder—she's tired of hearing her relatives talk about the past. But when she opens the front door to symbolically welcome the prophet Elijah, she's transported to a Polish village in the year 1942, where she becomes caught up in the tragedy of the time. "Readers will come away with a sense of tragic history that both disturbs and compels." 


I have a thing for Holocaust books.  I and I definitely have a thing for people who refuse to acknowledge the Holocaust so I really liked this book if only for those two reasons.  I get (sorta) how Hannah is sick of remembering her past, especially when she sees it just as a boring religious ritual that is only enjoyed by the adults.  I love the time she spent in the past and how it wasn't just a dream.

However, I hated spending most of the book with her questioning everything as a dream (and me thinking it was an alcohol-induced hallucination/collapse), and then telling the people how right she was.  I hate when people are like that, thinking they are all knowing.

Once her memories faded though I love how she found her inner strength and then the book was all neatly, satisfyingly wrapped up in the end.

I'm normally extremely sad at the end of Holocaust books, this time I was relieved/happy/content.  It was odd.  I highly recommend the read though (then again, when do I post a review and not recommend the book?  Maybe I should try that some day)

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