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With You There Is Light

BASED ON THE TRUE STORY ABOUT SOPHIE SCHOLL AND FRITZ HARTNAGEL

A poignant story that’s full of historical insight.

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Lehmann offers a historical novel based on the true story of young, Christian anti-Nazi activist Sophie Scholl.

As the German teenager grows into a young adult, her anti-Nazism swells, as does her romantic relationship with Fritz Hartnagel, a reluctant participant in the German army. She’s also an eyewitness to Nazi violence: “The police took fifty Jews out of their homes and ordered them into the empty fountain in front of the synagogue. They set it on fire. The police beat them.” After Nazi officials force her to go to a propaganda camp, she’s allowed to attend a university, where she and her brother help form the White Rose student resistance group and clandestinely distribute anti-Nazi flyers. During these years, Sophie and Fritz explore love, politics, spirituality, and morality through letters and brief visits while Fritz is on leave. His descriptions of the Russian front, camps, and ghettos strengthen Sophie’s anti-Nazi resolve and her understanding of moral complexities. Her Christianity is also a constant; even after she’s arrested and about to be executed on treason charges, “the pastor and Sophie read the psalm’s verses slowly and deliberately. When they finished, they looked at one another with a peace that surpassed all understanding.” Lehmann uses well-researched details and imagery and a variety of narrative voices to create vivid portraits in this novel. Readers witness the lives of both civilians and soldiers that opposed the Nazi regime: “[The soldiers] were confused and everything was uncertain….The cold incessant rain came in sheets now. Followed by black flies, gnawing on their skin.” The story of a young couple in love during wartime also unfolds gracefully: “[Sophie] wanted to take every detail of those hours and put them away in a box which she could always open. A place where the memories of the trees and flowers, the gardener, the birds, wouldn’t fade.”

A poignant story that’s full of historical insight. 

Pub Date: July 14, 2016

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 229

Publisher: L & L Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2016

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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