Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"The Secret Holocaust Diaries" Book Review

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Secret Holocaust Diaries: The Untold Story of Nonna Bannister

Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)

***Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy.***

I often times hesitate to review non-fiction books because they take me a lot longer to read than fiction books do, they just tend to slow down the rapid rate at which I zip through books. Until now. This may be one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read.

This is the gripping true story of Nonna Bannister and her survival of the Holocaust during WWII as a Russian (though there are strong suspicions that her father had Jewish blood). Her family lost everything and she and her mom ended up in a cattle car on their way to Germany to be slave labor in factories. Nonna ends up in America after the war and gets married and has a family. She never tells her husband what really happened to her all those years ago, and he doesn't pry. One day, years after they were married and the kids are grown, she takes her husband to the attic and finally shows him the locked trunk with all the diaries she kept through the war. All the photos that she was able to keep with her, all the postcards and mementos that survived thanks to her. She tells her husband that she knows her story needs to be told but she doesn't want it told until after she is gone. Her husband and kids were the only ones to hear her story from her. Now it is time for the rest of us.

I could not put this book down. The Diary of Anne Frank is a beloved book, but it only tells the story to a certain point. The Secret Diaries of Nonna Bannister are able to take and drive the story farther and from a different viewpoint. I can not wait for my kids to read this book - a great historical tool and a gift to all of us here in the present.


Nonna Bannister was a young girl when World War II broke into her happy life. She went from an idyllic early-twentieth-century Russian childhood, full of love and comforts, to the life of a prisoner working in labor camps—though she was not a Jew—eventually bereft of her entire family. But she survived the war armed with the faith in God her grandmother taught her and a readiness to start a new life. She immigrated to America, married, and started a family, keeping her past secret from everyone. Though she had carried from Germany the scraps of a diary and various photographs and other memorabilia, she kept it all hidden and would only take it out, years later, to translate and expand her writings. After decades of marriage, Nonna finally shared her secret with her husband . . . and now he is sharing it with the world. Nonna died on August 15, 2004.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (March 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414325479
ISBN-13: 978-1414325477


1 comment:

hippmom said...

I have to read this book. Absolutely have to read it. Thanks for introducing it to me.