What I’m Reading: The Light in Hidden Places

I typically only do one book review each week but this one was so good, I want to share it immediately.  Here goes:

A blog reader contacted me and said she had just read The Light in Hidden Places by Sharon Cameron and she thought that I would love it.  Hmm.  I love suggestions but sometimes, I get books that I don’t love as suggestions.  They might end up being a romance book and I don’t love that.

So, I ended up going on Hoopla.  It’s an online library and I get the books without being on a waitlist.  I looked and they had it.  So, I gave the gook a shot.

It’s listed as young adult fiction and I don’t mind young adult books at all.  They all have a coming-of-age feel and that’s one of my favorite genres ever.  So I started in…and I was hooked.

The book had me and kept me going.  This was one of the better stories I’ve read about WWII.  The bravery of this girl to do all she did in the face of danger is amazing.  I am honored to know the book was based on a true story.  For me, that makes it even better.

If you read the book make sure that you keep reading and read the author’s notes.  It tells you all of the histories of what happened to the people in the story.  It truly had me captivated.

Whenever I read a book like this, I always feel I need to identify with one of the characters.  I need to be able to put myself in the character’s place and believe it could be me.  Stephania’s shoes were too big for me to try to fill.  I had to just read along and admire her strength and courage because I just don’t know if I could have done all she did.

I thought hard about picking this book as a “book club” selection.  In the end, I decided not to.  The book is long and might not be for people who have trouble reading about the Holocaust.  For book club I like to pick books that are more universal…but still have some punch.

There are 100 more things I’d like to say but I’m too afraid I would ruin the book.

Here is what Amazon has to say:
One knock at the door, and Stefania has a choice to make…

It is 1943, and for four years, sixteen-year-old Stefania has been working for the Diamant family in their grocery store in Przemysl, Poland, singing her way into their lives and hearts. She has even made a promise to one of their sons, Izio — a betrothal they must keep secret since she is Catholic and the Diamants are Jewish.

But everything changes when the German army invades Przemysl. The Diamants are forced into the ghetto, and Stefania is alone in an occupied city, the only one left to care for Helena, her six-year-old sister. And then comes the knock at the door. Izio’s brother Max has jumped from the train headed to a death camp. Stefania and Helena make the extraordinary decision to hide Max, and eventually twelve more Jews. Then they must wait, every day, for the next knock at the door, the one that will mean death. When the knock finally comes, it is two Nazi officers, requisitioning Stefania’s house for the German army.

With two Nazis below, thirteen hidden Jews above, and a little sister by her side, Stefania has one more excruciating choice to make.

Amazon readers gave the book 4.7 stars.  There are a lot of reviews and yet it maintained that high rating.  That is a true testament to the book.  I am going to give it a very rare 5 stars.  This book will stick with me.  I am highly recommending this one.

You can find the book HERE if you are interested.
The author has another book about after the war called Bluebird.  I’m going to see if my online library has that one too.

Many thanks to the blog reader who recommended this book.  It was great!

3 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Light in Hidden Places”

  1. I am so glad you liked it! It is very impactful knowing that it’s based on real people. Such bravery. I know I could never do what she did especially as a teenager!

  2. I have “read” this book too as I now do audio books and have just finished listening to Bluebird both excellent books. I love books based on history. ThNks for the suggestions Jo as I love the books you recommend. This book though was truly amazing in the fact how young she was

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