Something Beautiful Happened: A Story Of Survival And Courage In The Face Of Evil
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Something Beautiful Happened: A Story Of Survival And Courage In The Face Of Evil

Howard Books / 2017 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Seventy years after her grandmother hid a Jewish family on a Greek island during World War II, Corporon tracks down their descendants. Her poignant reunion with them teaches her new ways to understand tragedy, forgiveness, and the power of kindness---especially in light of her own cousin's subsequent loss at the hands of a neo-Nazi. Hardcover with 4 pages of color photos.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Howard Books
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1501161113
ISBN-13: 9781501161117

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Publisher's Description

Seventy years after her grandmother helped hide a Jewish family on a Greek island during World War II, a woman sets out to track down their descendants—and discovers a new way to understand tragedy, forgiveness, and the power of kindness.

Yvette Manessis Corporon grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories about how the people of the small Greek island Erikousa hid a Jewish family—a tailor named Savvas and his daughters—from the Nazis during World War II. Nearly 2,000 Jews from that area died in the concentration camps, but even though everyone on Erikousa knew Savvas and his family were hiding on the island, no one ever gave them up, and the family survived the war.

Years later, Yvette couldn’t get the story of the Jewish tailor out of her head. She decided to track down the man’s descendants—and eventually found them in Israel. Their tearful reunion was proof to her that evil doesn’t always win. But just days after she made the connection, her cousin’s child was gunned down in a parking lot in Kansas, a victim of a Neo-Nazi out to inflict as much harm as he could. Despite her best hopes, she was forced to confront the fact that seventy years after the Nazis were defeated, it was still happening today.

As Yvette and her family wrestled with the tragedy in their own lives, the lessons she learned from the survivors of the Holocaust helped her confront and make sense of the present.

In beautifully told interweaving storylines, the past and present come together in a nuanced, heartfelt story about the power of faith, the importance of kindness, and the courage to stand up for what’s right in the face of great evil.

Author Bio

Yvette Manessis Corporon is a three-time Emmy Award–winning writer, author, and producer. Her debut novel, When The Cypress Whispers (Harper, 2014), has been translated into fourteen languages and was an international bestseller. She has received the Silurian Award for Excellence in Journalism and the New York City Council and Comptroller’s Award for Greek Heritage and Culture. Yvette lives in New York with her husband and two children.

Editorial Reviews

"This beautifully written story will light the way through life’s darkest moments proving that kindness is the most powerful force of all."   
 
"Part thriller, part history, this meticulously researched memoir tells a searing story of human kindness in brutal times."
"This heart-warming story has so many amazing twists, turns and beautiful invisible thread connections which proves how there is more goodness and love in our world than evil."
SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL HAPPENED is both an engrossing peek into a little-known chapter of World War II, and one family’s harrowing tale of finding the lost pieces of its own history. With impeccable research and rich detail, Yvette Manessis Corporon deftly intertwines these narratives to create a powerful and unforgettable memoir. I will be thinking about these characters for a long time to come.
"As heartwarming, as it is moving and thought-provoking, Something Beautiful Happened is part evocative and touching personal memoir, part insightful and uncompromising factual accounting, lending critical perspective on the ongoing fight against intolerance." 
"A story of compassion and collective resistance during World War II… there is undeniable emotional power in the connections her story helps forge between the living and the dead, some of whom might be otherwise forgotten."
"Moving."
"An homage to the silent courage of a few when faced with overwhelming evil… A heartfelt story." 

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  1. Reenie
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    fascinating story but focus shifts a lot
    September 1, 2017
    Reenie
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    I have read a lot of books about the Holocaust but never anything from this area of Europe. I have mixed feelings about the book.

    I appreciated the story of the Greek island of Erikousa and how they banded together to save a Jewish family. It's so helpful and important to hear stories of bravery and courage in hard times. It was fascinating seeing how the author and so many others worked to piece together what happened to this family. The ending was largely satisfying except for one thing.

    After all the meticulous research and searching, they find that one person may still be alive but they don't pull that thread to see what unravels. It felt as if there was a gaping hole.

    The other difficult thing about this book is the vast amount of people covered. It felt like each person mentioned had their story told regardless of if they were really connected to the Savvas family or not. Rather than being focused on the Savvas family, the book was more focused on the hunt for the Savvas family. The story jumps around from Greece to Israel to Kansas to Rwanda and the result is that it feels a little disjointed. It could have been a lot tighter and more focused, I felt. This book wasn't a fast read but I felt I had to read it fast to keep all the people and connections straight.

    For me, I find that when books jump around between stories, I find one story more compelling and interesting than the other. This affects the pace for me. Some parts lag while other parts don't.

    I would give a cautious recommendation of this book. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those interested in genealogy research or to those who appreciate a slower paced, intricate, true story. If you're more interested in mysteries and suspense or even historical fiction where the story is more fleshed out, this may not be the book for you.

    Thank you to Howard Books for providing me with a free e-copy of this book. I was not required to leave a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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