Early in The Sweetness, an inquisitive young girl asks her grandmother why she is carrying nothing but a jug of sliced lemons and water when they are forced by the Germans to evacuate their ghetto. "Something sour to remind me of the sweetness," she tells her, setting the theme for what they must remember to survive. Set during World War II, the novel is the parallel tale of two Jewish girls, cousins, living on separate continents, whose strikingly different lives ultimately converge. Brooklyn-born Mira Kane is the eighteen-year-old daughter of a well-to-do manufacturer of women s knitwear in New York. Her cousin, eight-year-old Rosha Kaninsky, is the lone survivor of a family in Vilna exterminated by the invading Nazis. But unbeknownst to her American relatives, Rosha did not perish. Desperate to save his only child during a round-up of their ghetto, her father thrusts her into the arms of a Polish Catholic candle maker, who then hides her in a root cellar putting her own family at risk.
I'm a huge lover of any Holocaust themed books. Fiction or Non Fiction. With that being said, I really liked this book. It was interesting to see each character and what they were both doing throughout the book, and how drastically different that part of their lives were.
Although Rosha was in hiding through most of the book, it seemed that she was safe even though her situation was very dangerous. I would've liked a little more detail into her life as it seemed Mira's story stuck out the most, with the most detail. The writing was great and it kept me interested until the end. I would recommend this story to any Holocaust reader. It does show a different aspect that other Holocaust books.
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
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