When They Made Us Leave by Annette Oppenlander – Review

When They Made Us Leave by Annette Oppenlander
When They Made Us Leave by Annette Oppenlander

“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.

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Beyond the Fields by Aysha Baqir – Review

Beyond the Fields by Aysha Baqir
Beyond the Fields by Aysha Baqir

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.

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When the Winds Blow West by Alexander Tatievsky – Review

When the Winds Blow West by Alexander Tatievsky
When the Winds Blow West by Alexander Tatievsky

Rating – 3.5/5

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.

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The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W P Garland – Review

The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W P Garland
The Red Grouse Tales by Leslie W P Garland – Review

Rating – 4/5

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.

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Savage Storm (A Savage Series Novel #8) by J. Woods – Review

Savage Storm by J. Woods
Savage Storm by J. Woods – Review

Rating – 3.5/5

Having endured a traumatic childhood, Marlea has separated from her family. She has been working for Savage Security for the last two years nursing a secret crush on her devilishly attractive boss, Luke Savage, all this time. Her disturbing childhood along with her physical insecurities doesn’t allow her to approach Luke.

Until a wild night out with her girlfriends in a club where she sees Luke in a compromising position. Thus, starts a passionate relationship between them which is threatened by misunderstandings and a deadly foe.

Riley isn’t a typical criminal. Dropped on the doorstep of a lush vineyard owned by the gorgeous Nick Delano, Riley needs to keep her senses intact to escape from Delano’s sensual seductions and to complete her mission. A year ago, they had met on an undercover mission and were instantly attracted to each other. However, a wrong step on Nick’s part drifts them apart. Will they able to reconcile this time? Read Savage Storm by J. Woods to find out.

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Evie and the Upside-Down World of Nevermore by Birgitte Märgen – Review

“Rule One: Don’t eat or drink.

Rule Two: Never, ever tell anyone your name.

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

While running 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.

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