Jules’ story alternates with that of her Grandfather Samuel, a man with a sad story of his own. Samuel, once called Szaja, is an orthodox Jew who lived through the murderous Ukranian pogroms of the 1920s and the Majdanek Death Camp—but whose survival came at a price that’s haunted him for years.
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: April 28th 2014 by She Writes Press
* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from She Writes Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!*
The Belief in Angels is a truly haunting story of one girl as she struggles with the cards that she has been dealt from a very young age to adulthood. Dysfunctional doesn't even begin to describe her family life and the things she was forced to endure. As I read I felt every emotion from disbelief, anger, sadness, shock and I was glued to the pages.
The story is told from Jule's point of view with the occasional chapter from her grandfather telling his story. Both stories were equally interesting but I struggled at first to understand the connection. As the story went on it became a little more clear and I could see that it was sort of a way to explain how the events of the past shape the who, what, where and why of the now. His story needs a book of its own (which I see is happening) and I am anxious to know it in more detail.
Ultimately this is a coming of age story about a girl who is forced to grow up too fast because of her selfish, messed up parents. Jule's is a beautifully strong character that I fell in love with. I loved the writing style and could feel every emotion right along with her. I must warn future readers that if you are looking for the silver lining in this book there aren't many. It is a dark, haunting story with not much happiness in the mix. The story is going to stick with me for some time. It would make an excellent book club book as there are many things to talk about and debate. I am curious as to how other people feel about it and will be watching future reviews.
I really enjoyed this book and look forward to more from J. Dylan Yates.
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