Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and fantastic flying book club! Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: They Went Left
Author: Monica Hesse
Book Series: Standalone
Diversity: Jewish main characters!
Publication Date: April 7, 2020
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Recommended Age: 16+ (romance, violence, death, TW for Holocaust mentioning)
Synopsis: Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else--her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja--they went left.
Zofia's last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fiancé. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.
But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her--or help her rebuild her world.
Review: This book is equal parts heartbreaking and equal parts inspiring. The character development is amazing, I absolutely loved our main character and I loved how she wasn't cookie cutter, she had flaws as well. I loved the world building, it's hard to realize how devastating a place can be after a war. I am fortunate enough to not live with destruction like that and to see life go on as normal. - 1 hour ago