Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 30 books. 30% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho
- Illinois
- Indiana
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (2)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri
- Montana (1)
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.*


- Australia (3)
- Canada (6)
- England (12)
- France (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Scotland (1)
- South Korea (1)
- The Netherlands (1)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

27 / 51 books. 53% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

32 / 50 books. 64% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

37 / 52 books. 71% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

41 / 52 books. 79% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

16 / 40 books. 40% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 25 books. 36% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

19 / 25 books. 76% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

58 / 109 books. 53% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Distancing Non-Fiction-y Novel A Plodding, Difficult Read (For Me, Anyway)

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Despite Kläre Ente Kohler's Jewish ancestry, she's never been a particularly devoted practitioner of Judaism.  Her Jewishness exists mainly in fond memories of sumptuous Sabbath dinners with her extended family at her grandparents' luxurious home.  As an adult, her connection to the Jewish community has been tenuous at best.  With the Nazis rising to power in her homeland, however, Kläre has reason to worry.  All around her, Jewish businesses are being ransacked, their proprietors beaten in the streets.  The worse things get, the more terrified she becomes.  Many Jews are fleeing Germany.  Kläre knows her ailing husband and elderly mother can't make such an arduous journey, even if they did have visas.  But what of her two sons?  Can she find a way to keep them safe?  Unable to leave, Kläre must do what she can to help her children, her friends, and herself stay alive.  With Nazi brutality against the Jews growing more deadly every day, that will not be an easy task.  It will take every ounce of strength, courage, and tenacity Kläre possesses just to survive.  

Having grown up hearing dramatic tales about her grandfather's family's former lives in Europe, Barbara Stark-Nemon became especially fascinated by the experiences of her great aunt, Kläre.  Her debut novel, Even in Darkness, is based on the life of this indomitable Jewess who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust, after which she spent many years as the unlikely companion to a much younger Catholic priest.  While Kläre's war story is (unfortunately) not all that unique, it definitely has potential to be the stuff of good fiction.  Unfortunately, Stark-Nemon bogs the story down with so much extraneous detail that the action in the novel feels anticlimactic and dull.  The characters never felt real to me, so I had trouble immersing myself in their conflicts.  Lacking a real plot, Even in Darkness seems aimless and unstructured.  While I appreciated Stark-Nemon's quietly assured prose, I also longed for more dynamic storytelling.  For me, Even in Darkness has the stiffer, more distancing feel of non-fiction instead of the enveloping warmth of a well-constructed novel.  Overall, then, this was a plodding, difficult read for me.  I enjoyed the book's message (beauty and love can be found even in the ugliness of war), but found the novel itself not to be my particular cup of tea.

(Readalikes:  Reminded me of other WWII novels, although no specific title comes to mind)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence and some sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of Even in Darkness from the generous folks at PR By the Book.  Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I'm not going to lie, this one sounds very very dry and boring. It does sound like it has a beautiful message but I don't think that's enough to persuade me to read it.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Zero Days by Ruth Ware


Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive