Historically Speaking

I recently finished Serenade for Nadia:  A Novel, by Zulfu Livaneli.  It was a heart wrenching, historical novel, regarding the sinking of an actual Jewish refugee ship, the Struma, off of the coast of Istanbul. The refugees were from Romania, fleeing the Holocaust, and were on their way to Palestine when the horror occurred.

The story line revolved basically around two individuals, a woman named Maya Duran, and an elderly professor named Maximilian Wagner. Maya is his guide, during his stay in Istanbul. Max is there, after 59-years, to pay his last respects to his wife, Nadia, who was one of the passengers who died aboard the torpedoed ship.

The book rotates between WWII/Holocaust, and the present. The author was masterful in his depictions of the horrors of war, and the time period. I highly recommend it.

I also finished reading The Convert, by Stefan Hertmans. The book was based on an actual French manuscript dating back to the 11th Century. The document conveys a story of a woman who married a Jewish man, and converted to Judaism. The story line is intense, with visual word imagery that is often horrific, depicting the brutality of the Middle Ages.

I am drawn to historical fiction, that represents factual data, and not white-washed content. Both of these books were true to that concept, historically speaking.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Holocaust/Genocide, Jewish History, Judaism, Lorri's Blog, Novels, World History, World War II

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