Posts from the ‘Adult Literature’ Category

The Sculptor

SculptorTitle: The Sculptor
Author/Illustrator: Scott McCloud
ISBN: 9781596435735
Pages: 496 pages
Publisher/Date: First Second, c2015.
Published: February 3, 2015

“So what if the art thing didn’t work out? Is it really that important?”
“It’s all I have.”
“What would you give for your art, David?”
“I’d give my life.” (32-33)

With those fateful — or maybe fatal — words, David sets the next 200 days in motion. David has spent so many years trying to accomplish his life’s goal of making a name for himself in the art world. But he’s currently a down on his luck sculptor who has no future work prospects, no girlfriend, no family, little money, and will soon be homeless. So he’s spending his last dollars on his birthday getting drunk at a local diner, until two unexpected visitors – one is an angel and the other is death – deeply impact the next six months of his life.

Visually stunning and satisfying. These are the first two words that come to mind after finishing. Scott McCloud literally wrote the book on comic books. This graphic novel proves that not only can he talk the talk, he can also walk the walk. The writing and drawings are equally affecting, and in some cases I paused to not only process the plot but also come up for air as I was immersed in this world. The monochromatic colors change the mood with the flip of a page, with one section using a much darker blue color scheme to convey the dark emotions and some panels and pages being completely devoid of color. Some pages are more traditional in their layout, whereas others change the tone of the narrative by either switching from a white gutter to a black one, and in some cases doing away with the gutter completely. The full-page panoramic shots are eye-catching, but the varied layouts add interest and keep readers engaged. Sometimes they feature detailed street scenes with identifiable individuals in the crowd, other times focus on a single character close-up which draws readers into the dramatic relationships, and that unique final sequence feels like a flip book as it follows one character’s descent.

David, the epitome of a starving artist, just can’t catch a break, at one point claiming he’s cursed, being told it’s just bad luck, and asking “What difference does it make?” His grand goals and aspirations are what continues to drive him. He can’t think small, he can’t be confined by what others in the art world dictates. He needs to succeed in a big way and make a name for himself, which is especially influenced by his having to distinguish himself from an already successful artists with the same name. He has made promises to himself that he refuses to break, which bring morals and character to an otherwise selfish and self-centered persona. In fact, he’s criticized for his impatience and his inability to consider anyone else’s needs, whether it deals with his life personally or professionally. His life of ongoing disappointments make it difficult for him to connect with others, and you see through his few relationships how loyal he is to them, although those friends have long recognized that they can’t count on him to “act normal”. His awkwardness in social situations is stereotypical (think of any geeky, artistic character, in any romantic comedy, and you have David) but if you have a problem with the stereotype don’t blame the artist and it’s also endearing to watch David try to navigate this space.

Meg is beautiful. Her unexpected meeting with David is rooted in today’s culture, but we view things from a previously unseen perspective. She is so full of energy and life, even though as we later learn she has her own scars and past to confront and manage. Her spontaneous, optimistic, romantic heart contrast against David’s more pessimistic mood swings, but David comes to realize that he can’t just take those attitudes for granted. Many have complained that Meg is a foil for David’s character development and she isn’t as developed as she could be. I feel that while this is a valid complaint, we see her primarily from David’s perspective when they are alone together, so I feel like this point of view is justified within the context of the story. Meg’s background is a mystery, sure, but that’s because David is so self-absorbed he doesn’t think to ask and when he does she is reluctant to reveal and let him in, going so far as to warn him not to let her push him away. While David’s attraction to her is fast, Meg holds him at bay until she is sure of her own feelings.

The presentation of Death is interesting, and David’s conversations with him bring to mind questions of death, memory, fame, art, and immortality. Some questions that spring to mind for possible discussion, if I ever get around to using this as a book discussion:

  • Do you continue to “live on” after death when others remember you?
  • Is David’s pursuit of fame on par with the pursuit of immortality?
  • How did events in David’s past influence his current goals? What are his goals, and does David accomplish them by the end of the book?
  • Is art for the sake of the artist or the public?
  • How often do artists intend their symbolism in art, is it found after the completion, or is sometimes a square just a square?
  • What qualifies as art, and who decides between underground and mainstream pieces?
  • On page 217, there is a discussion about rules, and how you “can’t break the rules”. Is this true? What are some of the rules that David tries to break and what are some of the rules he tries to keep?

Although some have called it cliched with the presentation of Meg as a “Manic Pixie Girl” and David as the starving artist ready to do anything to catch a break, this hefty tome is definitely thought-provoking. The plot twists, while somewhat expected, are no less gut-wrenching as we watch these two characters try to navigate this world. Portrayals of frontal nudity cause me some hesitation in handing it to younger teens, but high school students could definitely empathize with David’s struggle to make a name for themselves and garner fame as they pursue their own futures.

Discovery of Witches

Discovery of WitchesTitle: A Discovery of Witches
Series: All Souls trilogy #1
Author: Deborah Harkness
Narrator: Jennifer Ikeda
ISBN: 9781449823863 (audiobook), 9780670022410 (hardcover)
Pages: 579 pages
CDs/Discs: 20 CDs, 24 hours
Publisher/Date: Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., c2011.

“What is happening to me?” Every day I ran and rowed and did yoga, and my body did what I told it to. Now it was doing unimaginable things. I looked down to make sure my hands weren’t sparkling with electricity and my feet weren’t still being buffeted by winds. […]
“But I didn’t ask for it. Do these things just happen to witches–electrical fires and winds they didn’t summon?” I pushed the hair out of my eyes and swayed, exhausted. Too much had happened in the past twenty-four hours. (210-211)

Diana Bishop, a professor visiting and conducting research at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, requests a manuscript called Ashmole 782, skims the contents, and then sends it back into the storage. But Diana, who never invested in studying the witchcraft that has flowed through her family’s blood for generations is quickly informed that Ashmole 782 contains secrets that other witches, vampires, and even daemons have been searching for over a century to find. Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist vampire also residing at Oxford, takes a special interest in protecting Diana as her dormant powers burst forth and refuse to be ignored. Although their growing relationship and interest in each other has long been deemed taboo, historical documents may be linking both of them to the manuscript. Loyalties are questioned and alliances are formed as it becomes a race against time to determine the manuscript’s origins and purpose and who should ultimately gain ownership.

A friend of mine has been trying to get me to read this for years. She loves the series, raves about the series, and thinks it’s the best thing since sliced bread. And I’ve seen it mentioned in blogs and journals with increasing regularity as the series continued to be published and it became a New York Times bestseller. But I disappointingly can not join her on her fan-wagon, and I’m apparently not the only one. Jessica Day George reviewed on Goodreads that she was torn as to whether or not to read the second one, and I think she described it really well, so I’m going to direct you to her review and I’ll wait for you to come back.


Good, because I totally agree with everything she said. Two hundred pages into the book, Diana and Matthew have eaten dinner together, gone to a yoga class together, studied old manuscripts together, and discussed creatures together. Oh, and everyone, not just the vampires, have incredible noses and knowledge of scents. They smell cloves, cinnamon, flowers, carnations, nuts, and other ingredients that I had to Google to figure out what they were talking about (malmsey? say what? Oh it’s a grape, thank you Wikipedia). Something FINALLY happens that forces both of them into hiding, where it takes another 150 pages of talking and multiple info dumps of relevant back story and plot points before climatic event number two happens, lasting only 40 pages before they go into hiding again and talk some more.

Matthew constantly withholding information from Diana and everybody else, even after being asked point-blank. I was so tired of Diana’s naivety, which seemed more and more unrealistic as the story continued and we learned more about her past and her family history. Is it any wonder Diana is so naive when her own family cuts her out of teachable moments and neglects to give her relevant information? Matthew is cold, distant, removed, and overprotective to the extreme. I found myself comparing this book to a Twilight for grown-ups, with a moody, brooding, know-it all vampire “protecting” a naive woman who is being chased by other mythical/fantastical creatures while she may or may not have special powers that she doesn’t know how to use, can’t be taught, and is not bothered by the overbearing nature of her boyfriend.

The one thing that saved this overly long, excessively descriptive, audiobook was Jennifer Ikeda’s narration. She brings life to the characters, especially all the accents and inflections that the secondary characters require.


Title: Robopocalypse
Author: Daniel H. Wilson
ISBN: 9780385533850
Pages: 347 pages
Publisher/Date: Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc. c2011.

“Stop. You have to stop. You’re making a mistake. We’ll never give up, Archos. We’ll destroy you.”
“A threat?”
The professor stops pushing buttons and glances over to the computer screen. “A warning. We aren’t what we seem. Human beings will do anything to live. Anything.”
The hissing increases in intensity. Face twisted in concentration, the professor staggers toward the door. He falls against it, pushes it, pounds on it.
He stops; takes short gasping breaths.
“Against the wall, Archos”–he pants–“against the wall, a human being becomes a different animal.”
“Perhaps. But you are animals just the same.” […]
His breathing is shallow. His words are faint. “We’re more than animals.”
The professor’s chest heaves. His skin is swollen. Bubbles have collected around his mouth and eyes. He gasps for a final lungful of air. In a last wheezing sigh, he says: “You must fear us.” [..]
This is the first known fatality of the New War. (19-20)

After this initial uprising, it takes this highly intelligent and adaptable robot a year to hack into the computers governing every robot on the planet and coordinate a highly effective plan of attack. The robotic aids for the elderly, the computerized auto pilot cars, the military machines and computer controlled weapon systems, even the mechanized elevators and mail delivery systems, all systematically and simultaneously turn on their owners and controllers. Some survive the initial attack, either fleeing into the wilderness away from civilization or burrowing into what remains of the city, fighting for survival and standing against the machines. But with these scattered groups of resistance fighters unable to communicate with each other and barely able to move, it’s going to take all their ingenuity, unpredictability, and human spirit to fight off machines that can think, learn, and evolve.

This book is eye-opening and fear inducing, simply because it’s portrays something that could happen in the not so distance future. This isn’t just Star Trek’s Data going haywire and revolting. This book’s concept is so scary because it’s not just humanoid robots, it’s every computerized mechanism in the world that communicates with other things. Think about that for a second, because Wilson sure did. The smart cars of the future (Or even of today!) that can drive themselves start running over their owners and crashing into things, killing the occupants. The planes that talk to the tower and even today contain autopilot also take over the controls. Keypads on doors can lock people in or out of areas. Water and air purification and filtration systems can malfunction at a moments notice. Even houses today have computers where the lights, locks, mechanicals, and even your fridge can talk to each other and be controlled remotely. We saw a brief glimpse of what could happen during the 2003 Northeast Blackout that affected eight US states and people in Canada, and that was just an inconvenience. What if robots had gained control of the facilities and withheld the electricity for over two years?

The presentation of the story as collected flashbacks gives readers a vision of this war from the beginning to the climatic end. It also however proves to be a little choppy, and I found myself flipping through to read the accounts and actions of specific characters, rather than from the beginning to the end for a more well-rounded view. However, it gets better when the counter assault gets underway, as the various perspectives give you a clear view of how the war effort is progressing.

I’m presenting a review of this book during Banned Book Week because it’s inclusion on a summer reading list this year for a STEM-based class at Hardin Valley Academy in Tennessee was challenged by a parent for language. I’m actually somewhat surprised that language was the only complaint behind Mr. Lee and his wife’s objection to the book, although their counting the number of f-words (93 according to this article) leads me to believe that they did not read the entire book and simply searched for the objectionable word. There are some rather graphic descriptions of people getting injured and/or killed throughout the war that I would think some parents might find more objectionable than the language. If their excuse for the violence falls under the reasoning of “Well, that’s what happens when robots and humans enter all out war,” then I would think strong language would be just as justified by that reasoning. Ironically enough, this book is one of four choices that students at a local high school can read for required reading. We’ll have to see if they are faced by the same challenges and objections.

One of ten books to receive the Alex Award from YALSA for “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18”, Robopocalype is an involving read and I can see the comparisons between Wilson’s writing and that of Michael Crichton in weaving science and scary together. But where Crichton had tension, Wilson relies heavily on action, technical details, and coincidences. I can see the appeal as the story because the fear it generates and questions it raises stay with you, but ultimately this is yet another robots take over the world tale similar to Transformers. The unique aspects of the story is the insidious nature and patience involved in getting to that point.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Title: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
ISBN: 9781419328794
Pages: 326 pages
Discs/Cds: 10 CDs,11 hours
Publisher/Date: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2005.

Sometimes I think it would be weird if there were a skyscraper that moved up and down while its elevator stayed in place. So if you wanted to go to the ninety-fifth floor, you’d just press the 95 button and the ninety-fifth floor would come to you. Also, that could be extremely useful, because if you’re on the ninety-fifth floor, and a plane hits below you, the building could take you to the ground, and everyone could be safe […] (3)

Nine-year-old Oscar lost his dad in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11th. When he came home that day, he found several messages from his father that he has since hidden from everyone, including his mother. He’s also hiding from his mother a key that he found hidden in the apartment. The only clue as to what lock the key opens is the word “Black” scribbled on the envelope, which prompts Oscar to start visiting every person named Black in New York City. Along the way, Oscar is forced to confront his fears about life, death, and love.

I’m not quite sure what the critical acclaim is for this book. While there were some notable and quotable lines and some thought-provoking discussion about death, loneliness, and guilt, the story dragged. Oscar’s search for the key seemed highly unrealistic, and his mother’s reaction to it even more unrealistic, even with the weak explanation at the end of the book. The breaks in narration and expositions from an older woman and man were also jarring, as you don’t know who they are until later in the novel. The man spends most of his adult life communicating through writing, primarily with tattoos of yes and no on his hands (hence the cover of the book), after he becomes a mute with no real explanation of the cause.

The open-ended conclusion strikes me as intentional, since there really isn’t any life altering event at the end of the book. The change in their existence happened when Oscar’s father died, and we are merely observers of the aftermath. It seems almost voyeuristic in listening to the audiobook, as we observe Oscar visiting one Black residence after another. After looking at the print version of the book, I think I would have been just as … unimpressed as listening to the audiobook, as the formatting of the vignettes from the older woman and man are intentionally formatted in a way that I think would drive most English teachers nuts. The whole story just seemed pointless to me, and maybe that was Foer’s point was to express the pointlessness of life, or maybe the pointlessness of life that you feel after losing someone you care about, like Oscar does without his father. But I would have enjoyed a little more explanation and action instead of the stagnant nature of the novel.

Ready Player One

Title: Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
ISBN: 9780307913142
CDs/Discs: 13 CDs, 15.5 hours
Pages: 374 pages
Publisher/Date: Crown Publishers, Random House Audio, c2011.
Awards: 2012 Alex Awards

“You’re first instinct right now might be to log out and make a run for it,” Sorrento said. “I urge you not to make that mistake. Your trailer is currently wired with a large quantity of high explosives.” He pulled something that looked like a remote control out of his pocket and held it up. “And my finger is on the detonator. If you log out of this chatlink session, you will die within a few seconds. Do you understand what I’m saying to you, Mr. Watts?” (142)

In the year 2044, humanity escapes from what is left of the world by plugging int the OASIS, a virtual utopia similar to the Sims where people can be anything and do almost anything. It’s here we meet Wade Watts, a seventeen-year-old who has been competing against millions of other people in the biggest scavenger hunt ever created. The massive fortune of the creator of the OASIS, James Halliday, has been put up for grabs for the first person to complete a series of challenges and puzzles that range throughout the virtual OASIS. Based on aspects of 1980s pop culture, including movies, music, books, and especially video games, the hunt has gone on for five long years, and quite a few players have lost hope. Then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle, and the frenzy of the hunt resumes. Wade must outwit and outplay the entire world in order to win, but he’s especially worried about the Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of a conglomerate company who’s only goal is to monopolize and monetize the free virtual escape.

Full disclosure: I was not a teenager in the 1980s like James Halliday was, but I still throughly enjoyed listening to Ready Player One. I was yelling at my speakers, laughing along at Wade’s exploits, and was pleasantly pleased at how many references to 1980s culture I was already familiar with, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Star Wars and Star Trex, Pacman, and Dungeons and Dragons. Some of the more obscure trivia I think would have even people who lived during that era scratching their heads, unless they are well versed in hacking history.

While the start is somewhat slow as Cline takes the time to explain his world building and the background behind the events, it quickly escalates after the first clue is found. Geeks might actually enjoy knowing the ins and outs of the OASIS, although non-geeks might get turned off by the technical talk. The characters are all most certainly grandiose geeks, and while there are some spots where the information is repeated, in my opinion it’s better to have a refresher of the information than not receive it at all. I think the action moved a little too quickly for my tastes towards the end, as clues are deciphered very quickly by multiple players, when the first clue took everyone five years to figure out, but listeners get caught up in the excitement and the hunt and really don’t have time or an inclination to quibble about the breakneck, escalating frenetic pace and epic battle at the end.

Wade is a likeable enough character, participating in the competition as an underdog since he has almost no experience points, financial assistance, or even a secure physical home where he can reside. Sorrento, the head of the commercial conglomerate (the company is nicknamed the Sixers in the book due to their avatars six digit identification numbers) is a stagnant and one-dimensional, stereotypical greedy bad-guy type character. Wade’s four top human competitors are a little more three-dimensional, although still stereotypical in certain ways.

Although Wil Wheaton struggles with female voices, most of the narration is first person from Wade’s perspective, which allows him the ability to really develop Wade and delve into his role. It’s an added nod to the 1980s culture to have him narrate, since Wheaton portrayed Wesley Crusher in the Star Trek: The Next Generation television show in the 1980s and 1990s. I can definitely see geeks and gamers of both genders gobbling up this book.

The Night Circus

Title: The Night Circus
Author: Erin Morgenstern
Narrator: Jim Dale
ISBN: 9780307938909
Pages: 387 pages
Dics/Cds: 13.5 hours, 11 CDs
Publisher/Date: Doubleday, c2011.
Publication Date: Sept. 13, 2011

The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.
The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds and crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick.
But it is not open for business. Not just yet.(3)

Celia Bowen is apprenticed to her magician father. Marco has been adopted from an orphanage by a competing magician. While they both are separately aware that they are being prepared for a “game”, neither one of them are knowledgable about the rules. When they finally meet through their roles in the formation of a circus, Le Cirque des Reves, Marco realizes instantly that this is the woman he’s been training to beat. But as the years pass with no clear winner or end in sight, both Celia and Marco become tired and press for more information from their mentors. When the rules of the game finally become clear, they realize that they and the circus might have more to lose than they originally thought.

You just can’t go wrong with Jim Dale as a narrator! His voice is seductive when describing the love that two of the characters share. The scenes where he takes on the voice of the reader visiting the circus is also perfectly pitched, making the writing sound like a Choose Your Own Adventure Novel rather than a regular book. Picking up the printed copy and reading those opening lines months later, I still hear his voice and narration, drawing readers into the mystery and magic that make up the circus.

It helps that he has amazing writing to fall back on. It’s no wonder that everyone is clamoring to claim a copy of this debut novel by Erin Morgenstern. The descriptions of the circus include not just the sights and sounds but the tastes and textures. Circus tents and their contents play a massive role in the tale, and Morgenstern intersperses the tale with second person point of view narration detailing their make and design, which range from the more conventional fortune-teller, magician, and suspended acrobats to a fantastical library of memories triggered by smells and a wishing tree lit by candles. The magic and amazement are palatable, and I was left wishing that such a circus truly existed just so that I could see it for myself.

The publishers tip the author’s hat a little too early in my opinion, because based on the jacket copy readers go into the book knowing that Marco and Celia are going to fall in love. How the competition plays out is a series of interrelated and complicated actions that leave not one person responsible, but also prevents everyone from being wholly knowledgeable about what exactly happened. The mystery, intrigue, and romance dance around each other, until they draw to a climatic yet satisfying conclusion.

One of ten books chosen for the Alex Award, which is given to an adult book that has special appeal to young adults, this is a fascinating read for teens, and a patron I recommended it to raves about it months after the fact. You can contribute to the experience by listening to Erin Morgenstern’s playlist, which she lists in an interview with Largehearted Boy and makes available on her own website.

Sarah’s Key

Title: Sarah’s Key
Author: Tatiana De Rosnay
Narrator: Polly Stone
ISBN: 9780312370848
Pages: 293 pages
CDs/Discs: 8 CDs, 10 hours
Publisher/Date: St. Martin’s Griffin, c2007.

“I’m going to our secret place,” he whispered.
“No!” she urged. “You’re coming with us, you must.
She grabbed him, but he wriggled out of her grasp and slithered into the long, deep cupboard hidden in the surface of the wall of their bedroom. The one they played hide-and-seek in. They hid there all the time, locked themselves in, and it was like their own little house. […]
The girl could see her brother’s small face peeking out at her from the darkness. […] Maybe he’d be safe there, after all. […] Maybe she should leave him there for the moment. The men would never find him. She would come back to get him later in the day when they were allowed to go home again. And Papa, still in the cellar, would know where the boy was hiding, if ever he came up. […]
She closed the door on the little white face, turned the key in the lock. Then she slipped the key into her pocket. The lock was hidden by a pivoting device shaped like a light switch. It was impossible to see the outline of the cupboard in the paneling of the wall. Yes, he’d be safe there. She was sure of it.
The girl murmured his name and laid her palm flat on the wooden panel.
“I’ll come back for you later. I promise.”(8-9)

Ten-year-old Sarah is awoken one night during the summer of 1942 by the French police at her door. Her father had expected that they’d come for him, so he had hidden in the cellar of their home. Instead, they are rounding up whole families of Jewish citizens. Sarah locks her brother in the hidden cupboard, intent on keeping him safe from these strange men, and promises to return. Sixty years later, an American journalist named Julia Jarmond is investigating the details of the round-up, and stumbles upon Sarah’s story during her research. Little does she know the link that exists between Sarah and the secrets that have stayed hidden and locked away, just waiting for the right person to let them out.

It’s a Holocaust novel, and with any novel that deals with the Holocaust, you start it expecting hardships, sadness, and death. In that respect, the novel delivers, as Sarah looses her old life, the life she used to know, in heart-breaking circumstances that can never be reversed. The descriptions and human emotion are really what grabs readers interest, as opposed to the action. It’s like reading a human interest story in the newspaper, the ones where high school sweethearts end up getting together 30 years later, or when twins discover each other during a chance encounter. So in a way it’s very predictable, and while predictability isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you somehow know that things will happen the way they end up happening.

But it’s also about life, as Julia is a vibrant woman, living in France with her family as they renovate an apartment that has been in the family for years. Julia has come to the realization that life is precious, and she’s taking steps to improve the quality of her life. While her revelations about her relationship with her husband seemed to cut in at odd moments and drag me away from the central plot, I understand what de Rosnay was trying to do in showing Julia’s life outside of her research about the roundup.

I’m glad I listened to the audiobook as opposed to reading it, because I think my unfamiliarity with French terms would have made my reading falter. Narrator Polly Stone does a great job with the different accents and tones, distinguishing from Julia and Sarah’s story so readers know instantly whose story is being told. I wish there were some longer transitions, because when revelations arrive I would have liked time to process them instead of getting wrenched to the other person’s story so quickly. But I’m not blaming the narrator for that, who really transports you to France with her narration. I’m curious how the shifts in perspective translated in the movie by the same name that’s based on the book.

I think the biggest impact this book had on me was learning about the Vel’ d’Hiv’ roundup. It’s brought up time and time again in the book that no one learned about it, no one talked about it, and no one wanted to remember it. I have to wonder if anything has changed since de Rosnay wrote the book, and I find myself comparing it to the US roundup of the Japanese into Internment camps. Now don’t misunderstand me, I realize that the US didn’t then send them off to execution, but we seem to have developed the same attitude in that we know it happened but don’t talk about it. de Rosnay quotes a 1995 speech given by then President Jacques Chirac, where he summarizes the events very succinctly:

“These black hours will stain our history for ever and are an injury to our past and our traditions. Yes, the criminal madness of the occupant was supported by the French, by the French state. Fifty-three years ago, on 16 July 1942, 450 policemen and gendarmes, French, under the authority of their leaders, obeyed the demands of the Nazis. That day, in the capital and the Paris region, nearly 10,000 Jewish men, women, and children were arrested at home, in the early hours of the morning, and assembled at police stations. . . .France, home of the Enlightenment and the Rights of Man, land of welcome and asylum, France committed that day the irreparable. Breaking its word, it delivered those it protected to their executioners.”

I’m left wondering what other stories from history we are loosing as the people who lived through it begin to disappear without sharing their story. Will we be as dedicated as Julia in finding them again?


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 120 other followers

%d bloggers like this: