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Where Do You Go When Home No Longer Wants You?

1939. Berlin is full of marching soldiers and red, white, and black flags. Eleven-year-old Hannah Rosenthal knows she and her family must escape, but how? And where can they go? Beautiful, Haunting and Gut-wrenching. Truly a story that will touch your heart. Just imagine living where you weren’t accepted because of your religion. A place where happiness disappeared in the blink of an eye and only terror and fear linger in the four corners of your house and your mind. Then to see hope and paradise in a ship named St.Louis that will bring you to a new Country that was suppose to be a place to keep them safe but turned to be terror and agony for many years. I promise you the very first line of this book will pull you in and you will not want to set it down. Tears flooded my eyes many times throughout, you just want to reach in and take all the pain away.

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful debut novel, perfect for fans of Sarah’s Key and All the Light We Cannot See, the story of a twelve-year-old girl’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion.

Before everything changed, Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now, in 1939, the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; her family’s fine possessions are hauled away; and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. Hannah and her best friend, Leo Martin, make a pact: come what may, they promise to have a future together.

Nobody heard my cries anymore; nobody bothered about them. Papa told me I was strong. I would survive whatever happened. But not Mama. The pain was gnawing away at her. She was the child in a house where daylight was no longer allowed. For four months, she had been sobbing each night, ever since the city was covered in broken glass and filled with the constant stench of gunpowder, metal, and smoke. That was when they started planning our escape. They decided we’d abandon the house where I was born, and forbade me to go to school, where nobody liked me anymore.

A glimmer of hope appears in the form of the St. Louis, a transatlantic liner that can provide Jews safe passage to Cuba. After a frantic search to obtain visas, the Rosenthals and the Martins depart on the luxurious ship bound for Havana. Life on board the St. Louis is like a surreal holiday for these refugees, with masquerade balls, exquisite meals, and polite, respectful service. But soon ominous rumors from Cuba overshadow the celebratory atmosphere, and the ship that once was their salvation seems likely to become their death sentence. Hannah and Leo must make an impossible choice or risk losing everything that matters.

There are moments when it’s better to accept it’s all over, that there’s nothing more to be done. Give up and abandon hope :surrender.That’s how I felt by then. I didn’t believe in miracles.This had happened to us because we insisted on changing a destiny that was already written. We didn’t have any rights, we couldn’t reinvent history. We were condemned to be deceived from the moment we came into the world.

Seven decades later in New York City, on her twelfth birthday, Anna Rosen receives a package from Hannah, a great-aunt she has never met but who raised her deceased father. In an attempt to piece together her father’s mysterious past, Anna and her mother travel to Havana to meet this elderly relative. Hannah tells them of her astonishing journey on the St. Louis and, for the first time, reveals how she and Leo honored the solemn pact they had made. By connecting the pain of the past to the mysteries of the present, Hannah gives her young great-niece a sense of their shared histories, forever intertwining their lives, honoring those they loved and cruelly lost.


Children on Board the S.S. St. Louis


Pick up your copy HERE

Blog · Reviews · Uncategorized

One True Loves -Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was my first time reading from this author and I was instantly entrapped by her story. I didn’t want to put it down and I didn’t want it to end..  When I read the back cover I knew I had to read this book. Here is the blurb that captivated my interest.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.
On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.
That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.
Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?
Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

 You start to understand that grief is chronic. That it’s more bout remission and relapse than it is about a cure. What that means to you is that you can’t simply wait for it to be over. You have to move through it, like swimming an undertow.

 It gave me goose bumps, it made me laugh and cry and fall in love with all of the characters. It is not a love triangle. Emma doesn’t fall in love with two men at once. She falls in love with them at different times in her life with no imagination that they would ever cross paths. Everything changed when the impossible happened, the husband who was thought to be dead, returned home.

 It’s gut wrenching — both of this woman’s past and present loves somehow in her life at the same time, even though one of them had supposedly died. If Jesse had never disappeared, she would never fallen in love with Sam. But if Jesse had actually died, she would have certainly loved Sam for the rest of her life. Both were good men. Neither one is ever made out to be a ‘bad guy’.  At different times in her life and under different circumstances, she’d fallen in love with both of them. She loved them both. How could anyone choose?

It is not just a decision for Emma, but one for Sam and Jesse as well. Sam loves Emma unconditionally and understands that she needs to see if she still has feelings for her long lost husband. In a story where everyone’s heart is breaking, what do you do? Give her up? Fight for her?

“Just… just do me a favor.”


Dont stay with me if you want to be with him, he says. Dont do that to me.”

 The only thing that kept Jesse alive, kept him fighting to get to safety, was coming home to Emma. Their love is what kept him alive. He came home to discover that everyone gave up on him, they stopped looking, and that nothing stayed the same.

Sam is ready to give up the women that he loves, for her happiness. If being with Jesse was to make her truly happy, that’s what he wanted.

“I have to let you go and I have to hope that you come back to me.”

What a painful thing to have to say. Is that what it really means to love someone? To love them so deeply that you are willing to lose them? Both men had to do the same, knowing that she would only come back to one of them. They both loved her.

This story tears your own heart in two as you find yourself on both teams. You want Emma to be with both because they both had such love-filled happy lives together. Jesse had his high school sweetheart, and Sam got a woman who was finally happy after picking up the pieces of her shattered life. Emma was a completely different person for each man, which really brings out different types of love.

The ending really brings it all in and leaves a beautiful message. It truly brings out the concept of love. I hope that you take the opportunity to read this book. It is very well written, my copy is highlighted and written in on every page. I need a clean one to store in my collection. After reading this story I went and purchased every book she had written that I could get my hands on and I tell you, they are all phenomenal.

Cozy up with a blanket and a cup of tea….and a box of tissues as this is an emotional journey with Emma, Jesse and Sam. You will not be disappointed.