Monday, April 12, 2010

FIRST: The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)

***Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***


Nonna Bannister was a young girl when World War II broke into her happy life. She went from an idyllic early-twentieth-century Russian childhood, full of love and comforts, to the life of a prisoner working in labor camps—though she was not a Jew—eventually bereft of her entire family. But she survived the war armed with the faith in God her grandmother taught her and a readiness to start a new life. She immigrated to America, married, and started a family, keeping her past secret from everyone. Though she had carried from Germany the scraps of a diary and various photographs and other memorabilia, she kept it all hidden and would only take it out, years later, to translate and expand her writings. After decades of marriage, Nonna finally shared her secret with her husband . . . and now he is sharing it with the world. Nonna died on August 15, 2004.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414325479
ISBN-13: 978-1414325477


I'm about to show my ignorance here and I hope you'll bear with me. I had absolutely no idea that people other than Jews were persecuted during the Holocaust. Maybe I fell asleep during that portion or Mr. Dunn just didn't feel it necessary to mention when we studied this in school. I have always had a weird fascination with the Holocaust (could it be that it was just so brutal that so many have a hard time believing one person could be so cruel?) and when given the chance to review this book, I jumped on it.

This book is a series of writing by Nonna Bannister and they were only recently discovered before her death when she finally came clean and told her husband her past. This was an amazingly talented woman who somehow managed to survive one of the worst events in history. She spoke multiple languages (which could have been key to her survival but could have also backfired on her) and her writings were transcribed from these languages. There are portions of the book that seem a little unclear, possibly due to a loss of translation.

I enjoyed seeing a different side of the Holocaust and learning some things that I was not aware of. This book did not bring me to tears but I can see where some might be compelled to cry. It is an emotionally gut wrenching book that will (hopefully) make you appreciate the freedoms you do have with the hope that they will never disappear.
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