My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Given the present rise of Islamophobia and the Trump Virus, it cannot be stressed enough that “we must never forget.”
I first read this book decades ago, when I was in high school, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve wanted to reread it but couldn’t find it in any library, and finally tracked down a used copy online.
It’s almost as stellar as I remember. I see now that it is somewhat contrived, to provide for the continual convergence of these two families, the Jewish Weisses and the party-line Dorfs, but it’s still quite readable and deeply moving. I was 16 when I first read it in 1978, before education about the Holocaust became common, and I was shocked to learn that it was based in fact and drew heavily from actual events, places, and people. A favorite teacher saw me reading it and introduced me to Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, and Elie Wiesel. (That teacher so rocked. I already knew how to spell and write sentences correctly, and I used to sleep through her required English class until she started assigning me books and essays apart from the other students. I read and reported gladly and will always remember her as the epitome of what a teacher should be. I was horrified when she was brutally murdered a year after I graduated. RIP, Mrs. McGill – you live on.)
I am only now aware that Green wrote this story as a teleplay first and adapted it for the novel, garnering the Dag Hammarskjöld International Peace Prize for literature. I see the miniseries is available to watch on YouTube and I’m headed there next.