Friday, February 12, 2021

They Went Left by Monica Hesse - AVERAGE

They Went Left by Monica Hesse
, 384 pages. Little Brown, 2020. $18 

Language: R (9 swears, 4 “f”); Mature Content: PG-13 (sexual situations); Violence: G 



18yo Zofia survived the Holocaust – only she and her younger brother Abek were told to go left, while the rest of her family went right – into the gas chambers. Liberated, Zofia, despite her poor health, is traveling throughout Germany and Poland in search of Abek. She finds a place in a displaced persons camp. She also finds a variety of friendships, including the enigmatic Josef, who intrigues her on a personal level. There are many levels of lies – to one’s self, to others, in order to protect the body and the heart. 

Hesse has given us a mature look at the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust. Very nuanced writing, the main characters are new adult aged – older in audience than Hesse’s other books I’ve read. 

Cindy, Library Teacher, MLS 

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