Readers' Favorite

May 20, 2022

We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

An unforgettable story of friendship, family, and hope as two courageous young women face one of history's most horrific tragedies.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock
May 2022; Amsterdam Publishers; 978-9493231788
ebook, print (308 pages); historical fiction

Zofia and Aanya became friends when they were young in Brzeziny, Poland.  They were totally different - Zofia was a Catholic and Aanya was Jewish and deaf. Despite their differences, they remained best friends.  Zofia learns to use sign language and they communicate through sign language and written notes.  In 1939, the threat of war is looming closer.  Zofia is married and has a small son.  Her husband has disappeared and she has no idea if he is in a German camp or part of the resistance.  He very firmly told her before he disappeared, that she needed to take their son and go to America where he had a cousin who was willing to take her in.  Aanya lives near her friend with her mother and is studying to be a doctor.  When the hatred begins to grow, both women are targeted -- Aanya for being Jewish and Zofia for being a friend of a Jewish person. As the war and the violence invade their small town, their friendship is put to the test.  Will they remain friends?  Will Zofia be able to leave for the US or will the borders be closed before she can fulfill her husband's wishes?  

Zofia and Aanya's friendship is so beautiful and is really the entire backbone of the story.  Both characters are well-written and believable.  They both treasure their homes and families and are desperate not to lose them as the war made huge changes in their lives.  Will either of them survive the war to continue their friendship in a safer world?

Be sure to read the author's notes at the end of the book.  This story was inspired by the author’s paternal heritage from Poland.  This is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.

We Shall Not Shatter is the first book in a planned trilogy.  I can't wait to read the new books and be taken back into the world that Elaine Stock creates for her readers that is full of friendship and love despite the hardships going on in the world.

Buy We Shall not Shatter at Amazon
(Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the ebook for FREE)

About the Publisher:  Amsterdam Publishers is the largest publisher of Holocaust memoirs in Europe. It was founded in 2012 by Dutch art historian Liesbeth Heenk.  For a full list of their books go to:

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. 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 Facebook.

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  1. Heartfelt thanks, Susan, for a wonderful review!--Elaine Stock

  2. Thank you for the great review + blog tour support!

    HF Virtual Book Tours