Sunday, October 8, 2017

Review ~ Last Words: A Diary of Survival by Shari J. Ryan

You know the feeling when you just don't know what to do with yourself because of all sorts of heavy stuff are about to burst in your heart? Well, this is me right now. When Shari first contacted me, I was thrilled to meet a Jewish author from the states that wants to keep the memory alive. But now - after finishing her book - I feel so grateful and fortunate for the chance that I been given. 
For as long as I can remember, I grew up with the stories about the Holocaust. We learned about it at school, met up with survivors, and having one day a year that is dedicated to all the 6 millions who lost their lives in that awful war. Being a Jew who was born and raised in Israel, it's kind of a given, being so attached to their stories. Reading Last Words was like another wake up call of how fortunate we are to be living in this world. Without all those people who fought for their rights to be Jews, I don't think any of us would exist. 
This book is everything. Maybe because I'm a Jew it had an extra influence on me. This is a story about surviving against all odds, loving against all odds, finding happiness in the middle of hell and maybe, just maybe a little bit of hope. 
The way it was written with the now and then's events made me sit on the edge of my seat waiting for what comes next. You can totally feel the heart and the soul of Shari being brought to us on a silver plate. 
Amelia and Charlie's story will stay with me forever, that's for sure. 

A little about the plot: After having a stroke,  91 year old, Ameila, asks her granddaughter, Emma, to find her journal and bring it to her hospital bed. She has secrets, lots of them, and she wants Emma to be the only one who knows them. While a heart failure is threatening her life, she tries to help her granddaughter find happiness and strength through her personal story. She never shared anything about her life during the war, never shed a tear about the torture she had witnessed in those camps, but now she needs Emma to know everything - even the things that could change her family’s lives. This book takes place in 1942-1945 and 2017. The life changing events the characters lived through will make you leave everything behind and just keep reading. This is by far one of my favorites reads of all times. Even though it fiction written with the inspiration of non-fiction, every word in that book felt very much real - the good ones and definitely the bad.
Thank you, Shari, for this book, for your words, for everything your grandmother shared with us. May her memory, and all the 6 millions who died out there, be blessed forever.

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