Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia, formerly from The Printed Page, where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. Mailbox Monday currently is on tour, and this month’s host is BookNAround.
Here’s what I received:
Based on previously sealed war archives and rare witness records of the survivors, Khatyn is a heart wrenching story of the people who fought for their lives under the Nazi occupation during World War II.
Through the prism of the retrospect perception as narrated by the novel’s main character Flyora — a boy who matures during the war — author Ales Adamovich beholds genocide and horrific crimes against humanity. The former teen partisan goes back in time and remembers atrocities of 1943. The novel’s pages become the stage where perished people come to life for one last time, get to say their last word, all at the backdrop of blood chilling cries of women and children being burned alive by a Nazi death squad that, accompanied by the Vlasov’s unit, surges a Byelorussian village.
The first edition of Khatyn was censored and the reader outside the USSR never saw the original. Forty years later, Glagoslav Publications releases the unaltered version of the novel as was the author’s intent. Today the book is part of Belorussian cultural heritage and its actuality is even more so apparent — having marked the zones of fire on the world map, the ongoing blood baths have scarred the surface of our planet, begging mankind to “never again.” (publisher’s summary)
Darcy Goes to War by Mary Lydon Simonsen, from the author for review (Amazon)
Spring 1944 — Britain is now in its fourth year of war. In order to defeat Adolph Hitler and his Nazis, everyone in the country must do his or her bit. While twenty-three-year-old Elizabeth Bennet makes her contribution to the war effort by driving a lorry, Fitzwilliam Darcy flies Lancaster bombers over Germany. Because of the war, both are wary of falling in love, but when the two meet near an RAF air station in Hertfordshire, all bets are off.
Set against the backdrop of World War II, in Darcy Goes to War, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy battle something more than class differences. The greatest evil of the 20th Century is trying to bring Britain to its knees. In order to be together, they must survive the war. (publisher’s summary)
“Bloom where you’re planted” is the advice Christine Bolz receives from her beloved Oma. But seventeen-year-old domestic Christine knows there is a whole world waiting beyond her small German village. It’s a world she’s begun to glimpse through music, books — and through Isaac Bauerman, the cultured son of the wealthy Jewish family she works for.
Yet the future she and Isaac dream of sharing faces greater challenges than their difference in stations. In the fall of 1938, Germany is changing rapidly under Hitler’s regime. Anti-Jewish posters are everywhere, dissenting talk is silenced, and a new law forbids Christine from returning to her job — and from having any relationship with Isaac. In the months and years that follow, Christine will confront the Gestapo’s wrath and the horrors of Dachau, desperate to be with the man she loves, to survive — and finally, to speak out.
Set against the backdrop of the German homefront, this is an unforgettable novel of courage and resolve, of the inhumanity of war, and the heartbreak and hope left in its wake. (publisher’s summary)
Almost twenty-five years after the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s infamous art heist — still the largest unsolved art theft in history — one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist named Claire Roth. Claire, whose reputation has been tarnished by scandal and who now makes her living reproducing famous works of art for a popular online retailer, has entered into a Faustian bargain with Aiden Markel, a powerful gallery owner. She agrees to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece — the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years — may itself be a forgery.
As Claire searches for the truth about the painting’s origins, she finds herself in a desperate race through a labyrinth of trapdoors, dead ends, and deceit, where secrets hidden since the late nineteenth century may be the only evidence that can save her from incrimination. Blending art history with passions of the heart, B.A. Shapiro allows us to smell the oil paint, see the brush strokes, feel the artist’s ambition and the collector’s fanaticism. As she explores the ingenious techniques of forgeries and reimagines historical relationships, she reveals both the beauty of the artist’s vision and the ugliness the desire for great art can unleash.
The Art Forger is a thrilling novel about seeing — and not seeing — the secrets that lie beneath the canvas. (publisher’s summary)
What books did you add to your shelves recently?
Disclosure: I am an IndieBound affiliate and an Amazon associate.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.