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Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections by Susan Shalev

bitter herbs


A poignant, heartwarming memoir…

Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections narrates the harrowing journey of a Jewish family seen through the eyes of Tanya, the teenage daughter, that takes them from a privileged life in Nowy Sacz in Poland to the icy wilderness of Siberia, and then to Tajikistan, Europe, and finally to the Jewish land of Israel. The book, a fictionalized memoir based on true events, chronicles a decade of Tanya’s life from 1939 to 1949, and Shalev tells the story with great sensitivity and unusual insight. In a riveting fashion, Shalev offers horrifying details of the sufferings of Jewish families at the hands of the Nazis. The fear the Jewish people feel, and the anguish they go through, are expertly portrayed, and Shalev balances war’s pain and misery with sensitivity and joy as Tanya’s family finally arrives in Israel. Tanya’s story details horrors of the war and the hope and courage that accompany her despite the circumstances, painting a picture both heart-breaking and hopeful. The book’s strength lies in its vivid, even-paced narrative and in Tanya’s appeal as a hardworking, sensitive, and courageous girl who never gives up despite the circumstances. The heartwarming bond she shares with her father and her transformation from a starry-eyed young girl to an intelligent, independent woman make readers root for her. Shalev skilfully conveys Tanya’s enduring mettle and teenage yearning for a simple life of social and economic freedom. A vividly told, beautifully crafted book that will keep the reader fully engrossed up to the last page.


Of Bitter Herbs and Sweet Confections

by Susan Shalev

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PUB DATE December 30, 2018

ISBN 978-1729756058

PRICE $11.95 (USD)

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