After the War from Auschwitz to Ambleside by Tom Palmer is such an impactful read. Just thinking about it now, a week or so after I finished it, makes me feel so sad.
Based on a true story, it follows three fictional boys, Yossi, Leo and Mordecai, who have been freed from Auschwitz concentration camps and have been sent, along with 300 other children, to Lake Windermere in the English Lake District where they can heal, learn to trust again and hopefully be reunited with family.
When the boys first arrive, they – obviously – can’t trust where they are going is going to be any different – or better – than where they left. While they are hopeful it’s not another Nazi trick, they can’t be certain they will be safe. At the beginning, three boys mark out the best places to sit to ensure food won’t run out before it reaches them; steal scrapes of food, hiding it in their pockets in case they are forced to miss a meal; and sleep tightly together in one bed, despite having their own rooms with clean blankets.
At Lake Windemere, the boys try to regain their strength and rebuild their muscles. The children write down names of family members for the Red Cross and then wait anxiously for a black car to pull up and a mother or a father to come out and greet them with hugs and kisses.
I don’t think I am going to ruin anything to suggest it didn’t happen very often while reading this book.
The book also shares memories of the boys’ experiences at Auschwitz, and Yossi’s memories are vivid in my mind. How does one survive from this?
The book was heartbreaking and disturbing, but also an important read to remind us what people went through during the Second World War was awful, but so, too, was what it took to survive post this horrific period in our history. The book was a fast read with amazing characters, both those who survived, and those who are trying to do their part to ensure children can be children again.
After the War from Auschwitz to Ambleside is from PGC Books and retails for $15.23.
After the War from Auschwitz to Ambleside is from PGC Books
for an honest review. The opinions are my own.