Green Books Campaign Review: I Have My Mother’s Eyes
Today I’m participating in Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign. 100 bloggers are reviewing “green books” – books that are printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. These books have been provided by over 35 publishers. My book was published by Ronsdale Press and it is printed on “Ancient Forest Friendly ‘Silva’ (FSC) – 100% post-consumer waste, totally chlorine-free and acid-free” paper.
Zosia Hoffenberg was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland. Her father and his brothers owned a successful men’s clothing store so Zosia led a comfortable life, even though her mother was somewhat distant. As a young child, Zosia and her siblings, along with their nanny, vacationed at a resort area and met the Bluman family.
Years later, Zosia and one of the Bluman boys, Natek, were re-acquainted and fell in love. Natek’s family imported dried fruits and nuts and they sent him to the United States to study for a year. In the US, Natek learned that the situation in Europe was much more grave than the Jews in Warsaw believed. He urged Zosia to join him in the US where they would get married.
Arranged marriages were common in that time and place, so Zosia refused Natek at first, even though she was desperately in love. Natek returned to Warsaw for Zosia just as the Nazis began bombing the city. Natek left for Romania to try to make arrangements to get the Hoffenberg family into the US. Things deteriorated in Warsaw and Zosia begged her father to allow her to join Natek in Romania. Her father agreed that she could be gone for two weeks.
I Have My Mother’s Eyes by Barbara Ruth Bluman is the story of Zosia and Natek’s perilous escape from Europe at the beginning of World War II. (Barbara is their daughter.) There’s a little bit of Barbara’s own story sprinkled throughout. Zosia and Natek have a fascinating journey – they managed to escape through grit, determination, luck and the help of people like Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese Consul in Lithuania, who provided travel visas for over 6000 Jews, against direct orders he received. I wasn’t as emotionally connected to Zosia and Natek as I would have liked – I think that’s because the book is told in the third person one generation removed. I wanted to know how Zosia and Natek felt as well as how they managed to escape. I still liked this book and think others interested in World War II will as well.
This is my 8th book for the World War II Challenge, which means I have finally completed a challenge.