Two books I read in January 2021

Both the books I am reviewing here are described as Young Adult having teenage girls as the main protagonists. They both have historic events from World War 2 as a background. The holocaust was important for the plots of both these books. I hadn’t realised reading them, or indeed when I began to review them, that Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK is on 27 January, six days after this post is published.

Cover of Being Lena LeviBeing Lena Levi by Bobbie Ann Cole

In 1950 Marlene Roberts finds out her true identity and has to make a decision. The settings of post-war Canterbury, Germany before WW2 and overseas travel to Israel are described vividly. I was drawn into Lena’s dilemma and found that the book was a page-turner. The characters are credible and the events could not be predicted. It is a very informative, emotional read.

Being Lena Levi is a recent publication from Instant Apostle, which I received as a Christmas present. My review of one of Bobbie Ann Cole’s earlier books, Love Triangles, is here.

Cover of The Red RibbonThe Red Ribbon by Lucy Adlington

The Red Ribbon: Every dress she makes could mean the difference between life and death is the January book club book from Cumbria Libraries (and other UK public libraries). I read it as an e-book on BorrowBox. It is set during 1944-5 against the backdrop of the holocaust. It is a story of friendship and creativity inside a notorious concentration camp. The details about dress-making are accurate – the author has an interest in costume, also writing nonfiction books. There are complex characters and twists and turns in the plot. Each chapter has the name of a colour. Again there is excitement and the reader is drawn into the story emotionally.