Laurel Mack’s fifteen year old daughter walks out of the house one day and just disappears without a trace. Ten years later, the police find Ellie’s body, and Laurel’s world goes into a tail spin. Throughout the long years, Laurel lost her marriage, and her relationship with her oldest daughter deteriorated. She in essence has nothing left.
Then she meets Floyd, a deceptively charming man with a huge secret. After only a short time, Laurel is meeting Floyd’s daughters. Poppy, the youngest daughter, reminds Laurel so much of Ellie — in fact everyone says so.
As the review on Amazon.com for this book says it best: “And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?”
This book keeps you on the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next, all the way up to the shockingly unexpected and twisted ending.
Check out this book on Goodreads: Then She Was Gone http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35297426-then-she-was-gone
The Story of Us is a book about Nazi Germany’s occupation of the Ukraine city of Kiev. “The only thing Natasha Smirnova knew for a fact on the 19th of September 1941 when Hitler invaded Kiev was that life as she knew it was over.”
Within a short period since the arrival of Hitler’s troops, Natasha was assaulted by a German officer, and her grandmother was shot in an attempt to save Natasha. The would-be rapist soldier was killed by another solider, Mark, who was conscripted into the army in his native country of Hungary. He helped Natasha bring her wounded grandmother home, and although he was the enemy, Natasha could not help but to find him attractive.So, when she runs into him again on the street, she strikes up a conversation with him, only to find that he may not be the enemy after all. His philosophy was that “the issue is that [the Hungarians] are unwilling participants in a capitalist war none of [them] can identify with. That [they] are dying for a principle [they] do not believe in.” Hitler’s war is not Mark’s war.
Natasha and Mark start seeing each other on a regular basis, and she finds herself falling in love with him. Seeing each other in secret, they know the dangers of discovery, but are like moths to the flame.
Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Story of Us by Lana Kortchik”
Back in August, 2017, I visited the biggest synagogue in Budapest, the Dohány Street Synagogue, and was told the following story by the tour guide:
During WWII there were approximately 70,000 Jewish people put into a Ghetto. The Hungarian government made a deal with Hitler that in exchange for free transportation of the Nazi army through Hungary, these Jewish people would not need to be sent to the concentration camp. However, were these people safe? No. The Hungarian army rounded up dozens of people at a time, brought them to the Danube on boats, and shot them. They then pushed the dead bodies into the river.
The tree pictured above is in the courtyard of the Synagogue, is called the Tree of Life, and the leaves (as shown below) are engraved with the names of Jewish people who passed away.
Unfortunately, my computer crashed and I lost all of my other photos of inside the Synagogue. However, I would definetely recommend to visit.
I found a little trail by the Schlossmuseum which led me to the below view of the Donau river.
On this little trail, there was also a statue of Johannes Kepler. He was a 17th century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. There is a university in Linz named after him.
What I really like about Linz, is finding unique art on the side of buildings.
Linz may be an industrial city, but sometimes it can be rather beautiful.