Bistro Book Club

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Anya's War by Andrea Alban

Tahirih,    15   
Andrea Alban   
Anya's War   
Feiwel & Friends    2011

       The Rosengartners, a family of Russian Jews, ran from Communist Russia in hopes of finding a home where they would be free of prejudice and able to live their lives in a relatively peaceful area. However, upon moving to Shanghai, they find that some dynamics of their lives have not changed. Living in a world on the cusp of a second world war, they soon learn that no  place is ever truly safe for anyone. Focusing mainly on Anya's adventures over the span of two days, the novel is very fast paced and somtimes confusing if you don't pay attention to what's happening. There are often flashbacks of their lives in Odessa, or interjections of Anya's personal thoughts. Based on a true story, Anya's War gives an insightful view in pre-war China and the daily life of not only a 14 year old girl striving to make the best of a difficult situation, but a Jewish family trying to survive in the midst of a horrific time for everyone around the world.    There were many twists and turns that I never expected, especially towards the end of the novel. Also, the ending of the story was surprising in the way that, depending on how you look at it, it was both wanting and fulfilling. Either way you choose to view it, Anya's War was a rich story with a very unique  setting. You have to admit that a Russin Jewish family living in Shanghai, China is a very unusual situation; at least, it isn't a combination that I would ever have thought of. This was one of the best aspects of the book. Because the cultures of Russia and China are so different, the blend and how the Rosengartners manage to adjust to their new home is wonderful. :)   

Rating: 4 Better than most

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reading ANYA'S WAR! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot and were captivated by the idea of Russian Jews in Shanghai. Hopefully, Anya's ability to overcome major challenges inspired you.
    All best,
    Andrea Alban
    Author of ANYA'S WAR and THE HAPPINESS TREE

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