Wednesday, 19 May 2021

The Girl With the Silver Star by Rachel Zolotov

shortlisted for Book Of the Month

WWII
Russia / Europe

"As a hailstorm of bombs begins to shatter the city of Minsk in Belarus, Raisa and her family run through the darkness of night to take cover. When Raisa, Abraham, and their daughters, Luba and Sofia, emerge from the bomb shelter, they find an unfamiliar city before them; chaos and terror burn in every direction. Fearing for their lives, they must leave at once to find the rest of their family. But before they are able to escape, Abraham is conscripted into the Russian Army and the family is forced to part ways. Raisa’s love and strength are put to the ultimate test as she finds herself on her own with her two young daughters in tow. How will she manage alone without her soulmate by her side?
Relying on hope, resourcefulness and courage, they walk, hitch hike and take trains heading for Uzbekistan, over 2,500 miles from home. Along the way they run from bombs, endure starvation, and face death.
Raisa finds solace in the women around her. Her mother, sisters, old friends and new help carry her through the difficult war years, but Raisa’s longing to reunite with Abraham still rages inside her heart. Will they ever see each other again? Will Raisa and her family find their way back to their homeland?"


This lyrical, poignant and heartbreaking debut novel is a stunning tribute to the power of family love and resilience. From the very beginning the characters invite you into their lives, and as we join them on their harrowing journey through war-torn Russia, we become part of their family.

Ms Zolotov combines fascinating research with beautiful prose to deliver a powerful, unforgettable family narrative. Truly a legacy to her ancestors, and a must-read perspective on the plight of the Russian Jewish community and the power of enduring love.

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds 

© Elizabeth St John
 e-version reviewed


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