Middle school librarian, reading teacher, runner, nature-lover, mom to two little girls, lover of modernism and the Jazz Age
I valued learning about this part of history that most of us know next to nothing about. It's an important story to be told.
I do not want to give anything away, so I will just say the discovery of the large owl and the events that followed.
My beef with this production has everything to do with the narrator. The narrator would be perfectly fine reading a book set in a happy-go-lucky suburb of America, centered around the ups and downs of a pampered teenager. The tone is whiny and emotionally shallow. She was most definitely the wrong pick to narrate this story. She described the horrors experienced by Lithuanians and others like she was describing a failed shopping trip to the mall. Her narration seriously detracted from the impact, weight, and believability of the story. I nearly gave up on it within the first hour or two. The only thing that kept me going was my desire to learn more about this aspect of history and the fact that this is an upcoming book club selection, and I didn't have time to sit and read the book (which would have been far preferable in this case).
The book made me very sad but also reflective in a healthy way of all that we take for granted in terms of freedom, happiness, and health. The things we complain about are so trivial when you learn about the way others have and do suffer -- and still manage to love and survive with a grace.
Read the book rather than listening to the narration.
These books aren't my fortay but this was pretty good. Also reader was sub par but overall well done narration as she tried her best to do the voices.
Besides being a learning experience I liked everything about it looking forward to the movie
What Sepetys says is absolutely correct, most people know very well the story of Hitler and the Nazis, but few are aware of how many died at the hands of "The Man of Steel", Josef Stalin. So much is missing from our history books. So much of WWII has been lost or simply hidden in the minds of the survivors. So many died at the hands of the Japanese, as well. Those who know anything about the war always think of Western Europe, very little has been revealed of the suffering of Eastern Europe, Eurasia, South East Asia, and Oceania. There is so much research that needs to be done, so many voices that deserve to be heard, and so many stories that deserve to be told. I can only hope in living be the famous words: "History must be told so that it may never repeat itself" that indeed more is revealed through works like this of historical fiction, memoirs of survivors, biographies, and autobiographies, so that the worse stages of human history never, indeed, repeat themselves, and that every victim is remember as a single or part of a collective. Yes, 6-million Jews perished, but so did 20-million Lithuanians, Estonians, and other victims at Russian hands; 24.5 million at the hands of the Japanese. How many victims will we never know about? Wonderful book! Beautifully written for the author's first. I look forward to reading more.
I will not purchase another audiobook with this narrator. It sounded like she was smiling while describing atrocities. I gave it a good 2 hours, can't finish. Book seems decent, wouldn't hesitate to read.