Customer Reviews for

The Memories We Keep

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008


    I respectfully disagree with prior reviewers. My wife and I are both children of Holocaust survivors, and have spent our lifetimes immersed in the stories and study of that period, so we are well equipped to judge books such as this. Though 'Memories' has a prima facie alluring story line -- after all, who of us doesn't like Romance? -- its protagonist moves through a series of adventures and misadventures that are virtually impossible. In small ways and large, the holes in the story appear. To add insult to injury, the author includes repeated episodes of sexuality which would NEVER have been experienced by a Polish/Jewish/educated young woman of her upbringing. I cannot imagine what sort of man would write of a woman's private experiences in such a tacky and tawdry way. My wife calls the entire book 'revolting'. Although I wouldn't go so far, I will say that it is highly disappointing, better destined for the category 'cheap wartime romantic adventure' than anything having to do with 'Holocaust literature'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong historical thriller

    In 1975 Mia Levy lives the simple life of a kibbutz farmer near the increasingly hostile Lebanese border having fled her homeland and a radically different life over three decades ago. However, now her past has caught up to her as clarinet player Vinnie Sforza sends her a letter stating he saw her in a Pathe newsreel working in the Israeli fields and by the time she reads his note, he will be airborne to see her so that they can remember the good but short time together in Brooklyn or perhaps be kicked out by her. --- Mia looks back to fleeing Poland where in 1939 she went from a talented teenage pianist to being ¿that Jew¿ forced to play Hitler¿s Wagner instead of her beloved Chopin. Her father sold diamonds to get the family passage to the allies, but they were betrayed and placed on a train to Treblinka. As far as she knows only she escaped by fleeing to America where she met Vinnie. Unsure whether she can truly love someone again, Mia, obsessed with her family probably dead in the death camp, leaves Vinnie for Paris as an undercover operative helping the allies by becoming a dominatrix servicing Nazi customers. Now Vinnie is coming to see his true love. --- The description of life in Poland in the late 1930s and early 1940s is incredibly detailed, vivid and harrowing as readers will wonder how people can do this to other people in the name of God and Hitler. Just having Chopin replaced by Wagner symbolizes how much the Nazis cleansed impure races especially the Jews. The small segue in New York is also deep as the impact of the horrors on Mia¿s soul overwhelm her love of music and of Vinnie. Though the Paris take turns too raunchy, historical readers will appreciate this powerful reminder that any form of human cleansing is an abomination. Note this is a reprint of SONGBIRD. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    A reviewer

    I think this is a great book. I haven't finished reading all of it, but I'm a few pages away from the end. This books deals with love, sacrifice, pain, emotions, and many more stuggles the main character, Mia, faces. I gave this book a 4/5 stars because it's a lot to digest. The way they describe the camps in the book is really hard to read. It makes you picture the journey in your mind. What I really do like about this book is that the author, Walter Zacharius, served in World War 2. Of course anyone can go research the topic, but this man actually experienced it. I give him credit for taking his personal experieces and turning it into a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2008

    A Favorite.

    As an avid reader of Holocaust, WWII, and Jewish novels, this is my favorite. I find it has an incredibly compelling story line. The struggle, suffering, love, and emotions weaved throughout the story paint such vivd images in your mind. The characters that the author has created, make it easy for you to connect and feel their pain and happiness. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to take a journey through a part of history with a fantastic story line woven throughout it.

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