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November 20, 2020

Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

"I was the luckiest unlucky person I knew."  (loc 1317)
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Where Butterflies Go
September 2020; Indie; 979-8682239337
ebook, print (270 pages); Jewish Fiction
I read a lot of WWII historical fiction and its one of my favorite genres.  This book is different because it's not only about the war but it's also about acclimating to the United States after the war where people don't really want to hear or remember what went on in Europe.  According to the author, the book was based on the life of the author's great aunt.

Part 1 takes place in Europe.  In 1932, Meira lived in the Jewish Quarter of Warsaw with her parents, older sister and younger sister.  They were poor but had all they needed and were a loving family.     Meira married Avrom and they had a daughter, Tovah. When they began to hear rumors about Germany invading Poland, they knew they would be safe because they were good, hardworking people. In 1939, the German Army invaded Poland and the family learned how difficult life would be.  They were soon forced to move to the Warsaw Ghetto where people barely got enough to eat and life was very difficult.  When the Germans decided to destroy the ghetto, the small family of three was sent to a work camp where they treated even worse.

By the end of the war, only Meira was still alive.  Without her family and her home, she knew that she needed to leave Europe behind and try to start a new life.

Part 2 takes place in NYC where Meira has an apartment and a job in New York.  She felt like a ghost 'unable to process the horrors of the past few years, unable to think about my life after.  For me there was no after.  After didn't matter...I lived but I had nothing to live for." (loc1324)  It was difficult for her in American where everyone wanted to look ahead and not think about the war.  As she acclimated to America and met a man who understood her and loved her, she began to realize that her family would want her to move ahead and try to find happiness in her new life.

Part 1 of this book was difficult to read because of the brutality that the Nazis inflicted on the Jewish prisoners at the camp.  The author provided a very personal look at the atrocities.  Part 2 was difficult to read but from a mental perspective.  I cried for Meira as she tried to begin her new life bogged down in her past and her memories of her family.  She was a brave and resilient woman even when she didn't realize it.  It was fantastic to see her finding happiness while she never forgot the past.

This is one of the best books that I've read about this horrific time in history.  It was very sad to read about the survivors of the camps and their struggle to overcome their survivors' guilt as they tried to begin their lives again.  If you enjoy WWII historical fiction, you don't want to miss this one!

Buy Where Butterflies Go at Amazon 

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. great cover. every time i see a butterfly, i think of my mother. she loves them. i wish i could visit her.
    sherry @ fundinmental