Thursday, September 11, 2014

Finding Rebecca by Eoin Dempsey

4 out of 5 stars

I received this book through NetGallery in exchange for my honest opinion, the thoughts reflected are my own.


I didn't enjoy this book but I give it 4 stars. That bears an explanation just like this book deserves a chance.

I have long found myself digging into novels based upon WWII and the people who lived during that time. Books that return voices to those who have lost them have always attracted me and there is no shortage of those in historical fiction.

Most novels I've read based upon this era catch me, make me think, and tell a story whether accurate or more creatively incline. Finding Rebecca, on the other hand, is a story that can haunt.

Centering around the story of Christopher - born to a German father and British mother who was raised on the isle of Jersey. Finding Rebecca starts (after a particular difficult to read introduction) by introducing us to a tried and true classic- a romance. Boy meets girl on his first day in a new place. Girl needs rescuing. Boy and girl fall in love, life separates them, life reunites them and love wins out.

Except this love is on the eve of WWII and Rebecca is Jewish, and love only wins until Rebecca receives her deportation papers to Germany.

Here's where the book gets haunting.

I should mention some reviewers have complained about grammatical issues but for once I was so lost in the story I couldn't see them. Because Christopher goes to find Rebecca in Auschwitz as an SS guard and finds himself confronted with an evil that he can't bear.

This book was haunting to me as I've rarely read a novel from this prospective where the protagonist actually wrestles like Christopher wrestles. His horror in the beginning, his fight to remain connected when it is easier to conform, his relationship with Anka and the women of Canada. Each of these points served to help readers draw into the story and, perhaps, for those of us with imagination place ourselves in Christopher's role, wondering if we too would have acted as he did.

I did have issues with the ending which I'll refrain from going into as they contain massive spoilers and I refuse to give you the easy way out ;)

However, I highly recommend those who are interested in this era to give this book a chance. I can't say you'll love Finding Rebecca and I'm not sure you're supposed to but it is a book that will stay with you.