Monday, October 7, 2013

Odette's Secrets by Maryann MacDonald

Odette's SecretsThis book is being considered for a Cybils award, so I'm not giving it my normal rating. Odette is a young Jewish girl living in Paris, but she must keep her faith a secret. Many people believe the Jews are bad luck, and Odette's family can lose everything if they're discovered. Her father joins the army when Hitler's armies invade France, but he soon becomes a prisoner of war. Odette's mother is helping others hide from the Nazis, but it eventually becomes too dangerous to stay in Paris. Odette, and later her mother, move to the country where things are better, for awhile. The fear of Jews is also in French peasants, so Odette learns to be Christian in order to survive. Living among this fear, and with Germans all around, life is dangerous and hard.

This book is written in poetic form, but it's easily read as a novel. It's an interesting view of Jews during the Holocaust who didn't live in concentration camps. The author captured Odette's fears, excitement, and confusion as she questioned her life and beliefs. Overall, it is a powerful novel.

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