They Went Left by Monica Hesse Book Review

The war may be over, but for many people, the war still haunts them. Zofia Lederman’s body has begun healing. She worries that her mind will never heal. She feels that her life is shattered and doesn’t feel she is qualified to pick up the pieces. Her brother is missing. She has no idea where to begin finding him. Journeying out on her own to find him, she soon discovers that just because the war is over doesn’t mean that the hate and discrimination is. She also discovers that she is not the only one suffering and looking for loved ones.
I want to start by saying that this is not a book to pick up if you’re looking for a light-hearted and fluffy read. It’s very intense. It’s deep. It’s a book that has the power to stick with you and truly makes you think of how things were for Jews back then. Most people think that just because the war was over that everybody got a happily ever after. That’s very far from the truth. This book demonstrates that. It’s dramatic. It’s raw. It’s true. It’s captivating and well worth the read.
I read somewhere a criticism that Zofia was a very unreliable narrator. I disagree with this statement for the grounds that it’s written from her point of view. It wouldn’t be authentic if you weren’t following the story as if you were her. I do want to say that I’d of liked to see another point of view here. Or maybe flashbacks splashed in for context. I really enjoyed hearing Zofia’s story. Don’t get me wrong. I just wish that some things were from another perspective. Other than that, I can’t think of anything I disliked about this book.
This book is narrated by Caitlin Davies. She did a beautiful job. I’m curious to know how many times she had to set it aside because the emotions were so overwhelming. She really stepped into Zofia’s role. She became Zofia so much. It made the story even more intense and emotional than it already was. I feel like it connected me to the story. Well more so than I already was.
I really enjoyed this story so much. It really hit me in the feels so much. I know that this will be a book that sticks with me for a long time. I’ll most likely end up reading it a few more times as well. This book is very deep and thought-provoking. It inspires you to truly think and experience how life was like for those who survived. It also shows that there will always be tragedy and fortune. Sometimes they interconnect so much that it’s hard to fully see what’s what. I whole-heartedly recommend this novel.

My Rating:

Thank you for Reading!

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