Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
496 pages
Finished 8/14/08

Those Who Save Us tells two stories - one set in modern day Minnesota, and focusing on Trudy, German native who was brought out of Germany by her mother at the end of WWII when her mother married an American soldier, and the other set in WWII that focuses on Trudy's mother Anna and the decisions she made in the war to support her infant/toddler daughter. In Trudy's storyline, she is working on putting together a history of WWII survivors (mainly German) by interviewing them.

While Anna's story was a pretty compelling one, I found Trudy's to be a little boring and forced. I'm not sure if Trudy was supposed to be a sympathetic character or not - I wavered back and forth while reading it. To be quite honest, I found her more pathetic than anything. It seemed there was a lot that went unexplained in her history that perhaps could have made her a stronger/more likeable character, but it was never really delved into enough to make me care too much about her.

Overall, I found the book very enjoyable until the last 40 or so pages. Then I found that the book made a predictable turn that I was praying it wouldn't make, and it ended up making me feel really let down. Would you believe I was let down because the book gave some closure? I really felt that this was one book where a "happy ending" wasn't necessary, and I was disappointed to find the author went that route anyway.

Still, Three stars.

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