Growing up one of my favorite books was The Diary of Anne Frank. I still have a copy of that book, on my girls book shelf. That time in history is so sad and I still can't wrap my head around the atrocities that happened over their, it is unspeakable. I'm glad that we have books to remind us of the evil, so it will never be forgotten. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a book that should be read. I really think it should be added to school history classes as a must read along with Anne Frank. Nonna's story is a story that should be heard all around the world. Please if you have some time pick up this book and read it. thank you Tyndale for giving me this review copy to read and write my review
The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister with Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin is an important record of a tragic era in human history. Nonna Lisowskaja was born into a prominent Russian family who thrived on their history as well as the arts. Her parents doted on both her and elder brother Anatoly, but she was born at a dangerous time. Russia had recently come under control of Joseph Stalin and families like hers were being rooted out and killed as dissidents. Nonna began a diary at the age of nine that takes her from Communist Russia into the German occupation, the dissolution of her entire family, and eventually separated from her mother who was placed in a concentration camp. She survived the war and came to the United States determined to leave her tragic past far behind her. She married Henry Bannister, and even he never knew the secrets of her life until she finally revealed it to him and her children through her translations of her childhood diaries. Nonna has a warm and engaging writing voice that pulls the reader into every scene from a forbidden Christmas celebration with her grandmother at their dacha to the brutal murder of a Jewish infant entrusted to her care. You can't help but admire Nonna's strength that takes her through circumstances that would destroy many others, and it's obvious that the faith her grandmother imparted to her carried her through the worst of times. This is one of those rare stories that truly earns the label amazing and deserves all of the accolades it has earned.
I bought this book and though i wish to say it were good and that i loved it i cannot. It was very slow and i fell asleep on it 3 times, which i have never (and i repeat NEVER) done while reading a book before. I forced myself to finish it though and in the end i felt releived. I do not recommend it unless you are trying to go to sleep...
It is hard to call a book such as this wonderful, because of all the horror that is described. And yet, The Secret Holocaust Diaries is also full of the beautiful, happy memories of a young girl.I read The Secret Holocaust Diaries in two evenings. It was wonderful. It was painful. I closed the book, glad that Nonnas story had been told, and yet saddened to think that she had borne such a heavy emotional burden for so many years before telling her family.Living today where finding "long-lost" family and friends is relatively easy, I continue to wonder if Nonna's story will help find any of hers, if still living, if still searching for Nonna themselves.Both sad and wonderful, but mostly fascinating, I hope that you will read Nonna's very personal story.
Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin presented Nonna Bannister's story with insight in the comments necessary for understanding the brutality of Nonna's experiences.Nonna's ability to move past her hurts and her desire for a peaceful life with her husband and children clearly make her a survivor with a compelling, encouraging story. This book takes you back to a history lesson we must not forget, but it is full of heart, whichmay be its best quality.