“I think about a time when eating your fill and feeling safe was normal. … and the worst I worried about was doing my homework. I long for that time, but as I lay there in Wolfgang’s threadbare blanket, another conviction grows inside me like a terrible sore.
I realize I’m mourning instead because that time will never return.”
Quoted from When They Made Us Leave by Annette Oppenlander
A longing for the past that is never going to return – that’s the aftermath of a war. Annette Oppenlander’s “When They Made Us Leave: A Novel about Hitler’s Mass Evacuation Program for Children” details the brutalities of the Second World War from the perspective of the German youth (and their families) who had to attend the much-loathed KLV program (an evacuation program).
As the frequency of Allied bombings increases in Germany, parents are encouraged, and in some cases forced, to send their children to youth camps where they will supposedly lead a better life. Fourteen-year-old Hilda and her childhood friend and love, Peter, are among them. While Hilda is reluctant to leave her mother, Peter is ecstatic to attend such a camp and spend time on the beaches, as promised by the camp organizers.
However, Peter soon realizes the farce behind such camps which are being run in a military style by dogmatic individuals. Hilda, too, must endure a draconian Abbess in the cloister she is forced to attend.
Oppenlander describes Hilda and Peter’s heart-wrenching journey through a war-stricken Germany back to their ravaged homes and into each other’s hearts in this book.
by her abusive past, Lenore has been pining for her high-school sweetheart,
Andrew, for years. Trapped between a domineering mother and a non-existent love
life, Lenore yearns to break out of her monotonous life.
wish comes true when she meets Richard, a handsome, rich and mysterious club
owner. With eyes the shade of night, all-black attire, cold hands, and wickedly
sinful ways, Richard seduces Lenore into a dark and deadly world. Now Lenore
must decide – to remain as the flawed Lenore of her past or to become Richard’s
Ella, a seductive and powerful woman.
A jolly afternoon. Omer, Zara, and Tara – three siblings running without a care on the village fields and playing hide and seek. Suddenly, the game becomes too real. Omer and Zara can’t find Tara. They shout her name, they run here and there, but can’t find her. Evening draws in with dreadful news.
Their parents whisper.
They don’t let Omer and Zara see her. Tara is unexpectedly married to a man from the city which seems to resolve the tension in their house. However, some days later, a newspaper clipping emerges about the man Tara has been married to. Zara is determined to rescue her twin. With Omer’s help, she hatches a dangerous plan to not only rescue Tara but also seek justice for her. Will Zara succeed? Read Beyond the Fields by Ayesha Baqir to find out.
The Arab Spring, that was supposed to usher in democracy in the Middle East, instead brought civil wars and barbarism in these lands killing millions and displacing many more. Overnight, people became paupers, lost their homes and identities, and were scattered all over the globe in search of asylum.
When the Winds Blow West by Alexander Tatievsky is the story of one such family in search of a home in Turkey after they are forced to flee their homeland, Syria.
The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W P Garland is a unique collection of four spiritual, philosophical, and mysterious novellas tinged with an element of the supernatural. These stories are narrated by a group of people in a local pub.
If you don’t follow these rules, your soul will be lost there forever.”
Quoted from Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore
Rating – 3.5/5
through the forest on a full-moon night, Evie falls into a big hole and finds
herself trapped in the Upside-Down World – a world that mirrors ours but
is different too. Here unicorns are not gentle creatures, fairies are nasty,
giants are not scary, and many more twisted versions of folklores dot the
landscape in this strange world.
Evie must follow these unspoken rules and cross the various obstacles in her path, relying only on a compass given by an angry gnome, her deceased grandfather’s lessons and her mother’s haunting memories, to reach home. Can she do it? Read Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore by Birgitte Märgen to find out.