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The Seamstress | [Sara Tuvel Bernstein, Louise Loots Thornton, Marlene Bernstein Samuels]

The Seamstress

Told with the same old-fashioned narrative power as the novels of Herman Wouk, The Seamstress is the true story of Seren (Sara) Tuvel Bernstein and her survival during wartime. This powerful eyewitness account of survival, told with power and grace, will stay with listeners for years to come.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Biography and Memoir, 2013

Told with the same old-fashioned narrative power as the novels of Herman Wouk, The Seamstress is the true story of Seren (Sara) Tuvel Bernstein and her survival during wartime. This powerful eyewitness account of survival, told with power and grace, will stay with listeners for years to come.

©1999 Sara Tuvel Bernstein (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"There are many recent accounts of Holocaust victims, but this work stands alone as a testimony to personal strength and an independent spirit." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (624 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 10-03-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 10-03-14 Member Since 2013

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

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    "Romanian Jews and the Holocaust"

    I gained an education on many levels while listening to this incredible book, one of the most descriptive accounts of life in concentration camps that I have ever read/heard. First of all, I did not know about Romania's involvement in WWII and that it joined with the Axis countries in the war (Germany, Japan, Italy). The persecution of the Jewish people began long before the war as young Seren and her siblings were routinely called "dirty jews" by their school mates, and it was ignored and accepted by her parents, who felt blissfully safe in Romania . . . even as the years, months and days grew near to the German invasion. I also first learned about the Hungarian invasion of Romania (near the border in Transylvania) from listening to The Seamstress. I was stunned to learn that part of Romania was split off from the rest and actually was reclaimed by Hungary, as Seren had to flee from Bucharest to her home near Transylvania, only to find it was surrounded by border guards. She got in. That was Seren. DETERMINED. She took the skills she had learned as a seamstress in Bucharest with her to Budapest, Hungary, where her blue eyes and light colored hair did not automatically mark her as a Jew. I never knew that Hungary was an Axis nation either until I listened to this book. Following Seren's journey from Romania to Hungary and then to Auschwitz in Germany, I was totally engrossed in her story. In telling it to her daughter-in-law, her biggest regret was the waste of all those years . . . not anger or bitterness . . . but what she could have done with her life if she'd had those years back. Oh, but what she DID for her sister, her future family, herself and for all humanity in surviving and LIVING through one of the darkest times in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader 05-01-14
    Reader 05-01-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Beautiful, heartbreaking, heartwarming"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this very much. The narration and story immerse you in another, different world. It is hard to fathom how difficult life was when this story developed, but the authors place you there through their details of the smaller, and the larger, picture.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Sunnyvale, CA, United States 08-07-13
    Lynn Sunnyvale, CA, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Captivating, entertaining, touching, inspirational"
    Where does The Seamstress rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In my top 5


    What other book might you compare The Seamstress to and why?

    The Unbroken... this too is a true story and is told in a manner that I felt I was right there!


    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    Extremely excellent! Love listening to her!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are many moments that are moving in the book. This was a time of devastation and the Jews were treated so terribly. It was a cruel and grueling time and this story captivates all that a family went through.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 04-28-13
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 04-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Needs mending"

    I know that from a politically correct standpoint, I should praise this Holocaust survival memoir. It just isn't as good as others I have read, so for me it was just OK. The author's notes at the end were actually the most interesting part of the whole book.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shanna Diamond Springs, CA, United States 04-07-13
    Shanna Diamond Springs, CA, United States 04-07-13 Member Since 2009
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    "This was an amazing story of survival"
    What did you love best about The Seamstress?

    The story was told with all the horror of the situation and at the same time a feeling of hope. I felt like I was listening to the author telling me what happened over a cup of tea.


    What about Wanda McCaddon’s performance did you like?

    She did a great job with voices, there was never any confusion about who was talking.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Sundberg Mpls MN 03-29-13
    N. Sundberg Mpls MN 03-29-13 Member Since 2012

    rockindogs

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    "Absolutely wonderful."
    If you could sum up The Seamstress in three words, what would they be?

    I have read many, many stories on the holocaust. This story is very touch and I just love Wanda McCaddon's accent. I could wait to listen everyday on my way to work. Highly recommended.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Seamstress?

    When Lily dies in Seran's arms.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 07-19-14
    Simone 07-19-14 Member Since 2014

    Join me on GoodReads too!

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    "Another Riveting Holocaust Memoir"

    How many books like this have I read? They are always good. Human resilience is amazing… and sadly, so is cruelty.

    This recollection of suffering and surviving through hard times was just as riveting as the others, and therefore another must-read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scrabblequeen Boston, MA 09-29-14
    scrabblequeen Boston, MA 09-29-14 Member Since 2006

    scrabblequeen

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    "Wonderful, Very Painful Story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Seamstress the most enjoyable?

    Sara Tuvel Bernstein is an exceptional example of the kind of skills needed for survival of unimaginable horror. This was an uplifting story for me, despite the topic and has given me much to think about in terms of the kind of emotional and mental skills needed to endure life's suffering. Beautiful performance by Wanda McCaddon - you won't be able to put it down.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M.A. Potlatch, ID, United States 09-27-14
    M.A. Potlatch, ID, United States 09-27-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Poignantly resilient human soul"

    The gifted reader brought to life Sara's heartbreaking losses and unwillingness to absent herself from this world. I've only met one Holocaust survivor. Now I have an insight into her experience. So glad I listened.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Sally Ann Lentz 09-23-14 Member Since 2008
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    "A perfect performance of an amazing life story"
    If you could sum up The Seamstress in three words, what would they be?

    One courageous woman.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The genuine nature of Sarah's personality shone throughout the story. How she adapted her independent spirit to the atrocious ordeal she suffered was fascinating.


    What does Wanda McCaddon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wanda's narration brought a whole new dimension to the story. There was nary a false note in her presentation of the this vibrant woman.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Spirit of survival.


    Any additional comments?

    I was totally mesmerized by the account of Sarah's experience. It was told with such honesty and warmth. Despite the often painful aspects of her life, her perseverance and spirit of survival are an inspiration for us all.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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