Customer Reviews for

Hiding in the Spotlight: A Musical Prodigy's Story of Survival: 1941-1946

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted December 15, 2010

    A very inspiring story

    I chose to read the book " Hiding in the Spotlight" by Greg Dawson. I chose this book because the summary on the back of it interested me when it said "The extraordinary story of a young girl whose musical genius saves her from the Holocaust. "
    This story takes place mainly in Kharkov, Germany; where Zhanna and her family lived. In the year of 1941 when Zhanna was 14 years old, Zhanna's family and many more families were taken hostage by the Nazi's, she felt invaded and curious about why they were doing this to them. When they were captured they were sent to many different labor and death camps, such as Drobitsky Yar; where Zhanna and her family were taken. After 2 weeks of suffering through the scarce winter, and little amount of food Zhanna decided it was time for her to escape. While Zhanna and her family were in a death march, as Zhanna described the smell of burning flesh , It was hard to imagine a person going through that. Zhanna's father told her to run away and find a safe place to live. Leaving her family behind, Zhanna managed to slip away and run back to Kharkov. The last words of her father were " I don't care what you do, just live."
    These words inspired Zhanna to live not just for herself, but also for her family which she felt she would never see again. As Zhanna was traveling back home she eventually met up with her sister; Frina and was overjoyed to find out her sister was alive. When traveling from town to town, they took many risks such as creating new names for themselves. Zhanna's new German name was Anna Morozova and her sister Frina's new German name was Marina Morozova. They used these names for the time of the war.
    When living in an orphanage in Kremenchug, Germany they were offered a scholarship to a music school for their mind-blowing musical talents on the piano. When the girls were accepted, they constantly had to play performances for the Nazi's. The girls felt that they had betrayed their father and race for doing this for these cruel, heartless people. She felt she was living a lie. Although by doing this it saved their lives.
    After the war ended the girls were adopted and moved to America with Larry & Grace Dawson were they could once again live a normal life. Zhanna felt it was a big relief to not have to live a lie anymore. The girls only lived a few years with them until Zhanna and Frina started their own lives. I recommend this book because I feel it teaches people about regret and true courage.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    Great True Story

    I enjoyed this book because it is a true story and a slightly different view than other Holocaust stories. It still has some of the same horrific events but I enjoyed the perspective of musicians who were in the middle and yet in a different world as well. Zhanna and the author (her son) visited my daughters High School and talked about her experiences. It was an added bonus insight to the story. I feel I learned a bit more about the time in history as I read. I liked that it spanned several countries and their roll in the events and felt it was written very well incorporating Zhanna's own words as well as narrative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2010

    An absolutely incredible read!

    This book reads like an incredible novel, but it's all true. What a compelling story, and very well written by Mr. Dawson. This book is a great read for a book club, anyone interested in Holocaust history, or for anybody who just wants to read an inspirational biographical story.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very impressive book!

    The trials and tribulations of Zhanna and her family are just a small part of what makes this book so inspiring. The research, writing style and passion the author portrays throughout - makes this story a memorable one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

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