Characters Å The Wrong Boy 102

Characters The Wrong Boy

Characters Å The Wrong Boy 102 Ê The story of a Jewish girl sent to Auschwitz with her family She falls in love with the wrong boy – the German son of the camp commanderHanna is a talented pianist and the protected second daughter of middle class Hungarian Jews Relatively late in World War II the Budapest Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz G in the house is the commander’s son Karl A handsome young man who seems completely disengaged from what is happening around him Hanna hates him as he sits drawing in the music room But the longer Hanna goes to the house the she realises there are other things going on Secret things Karl may not be the person she thinks he is Before she knows it she has fallen in love with the wrong bo. I feel rather deceived with that synopsis since the romance is everything but the theme of this book

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Becomes increasingly mentally ill until she too is taken away somewhere Her sister Erika is slowly starving to death Hanna is uite a naïve 15 year old but when presented with the opportunity to play piano for the camp commander she is desperate to be chosen She goes each day under guard to the commander’s house and stands waiting in case the commander should want some music Also livin. When I read a book about the Holocaust—or other terrible parts of history—my favorite part is almost always the middle the messy heartbreaking point when the plot is at its peak At the heart of the story the protagonist sees the most horrifying yet captivating details and is far from the tranuility of “before” and the relief of “after” I do enjoy watching the exposition shatter as characters are captured and seeing them weave their lives back together in the conclusion but I always struggle to turn away from the horrors of the story’s center However this was not the case with Playing for the Commandant—while I appreciated its every chapter my favorite parts spanned the first and last 50 pagesI fell in love with this story’s exposition for its masterful portrayal of the protagonist’s ignorance At the start of the story when Hanna and her family are forced to leave their home in their sealed ghetto she does not guess at the severity of the situation Even upon arriving at Auschwitz Birkenau Hanna still does not grasp the full scope of the evil surrounding her—for example when she sees people sent toward buildings seeping smoke she assumes they are being sent to work in factories This dark dramatic irony knowing that Hanna’s life is about to become far painful than she expects makes readers ache for her and makes the first few chapters a gripping openerHer innocence and hope carries her all the way until the end when it cracks in a conclusion that can only be called explosive I do not want to give too much away but I will say that the ending displays a calculated imperfection happy enough to be optimistic but sad enough to be realistic Suzy Zail chose a spot on ending for her story and I would not change a thing about itThe only segment in which I would make small alterations is the middle the section that has always been my favorite It does not have any major flaws but something small is missing something keeping me from becoming fully immersed in the story Perhaps it was the book’s length; at 245 pages it has little room for fleshing out dramatic details so the plot often skims over months in a matter of sentences Or perhaps it was the slightly too modern dialogue that springs up occasionally pulling readers out of the historical setting Whatever it was I never felt truly absorbed in the story as if I were there with the charactersHowever I cannot hold this flaw against Playing for the Commandant Despite my inability to fall into the story completely the plot still holds enough shocks and emotions to keep any reader invested I highly recommend this novel to any historical fiction fans and I hope that of Zail’s Australian writing soon makes its way to AmericaThis review originally appeared at wwwlitup reviewcom

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The Wrong BoyThe story of a Jewish girl sent to Auschwitz with her family She falls in love with the wrong boy – the German son of the camp commanderHanna is a talented pianist and the protected second daughter of middle class Hungarian Jews Relatively late in World War II the Budapest Jews were rounded up and sent to Auschwitz Hanna and her mother and sister are separated from her father Her mother. Holocaust books always make me want to cry And yet I persist reading them Why Because they’re history Because history shouldn’t be forgotten Because terrible things have happened and shouldn’t ever happen again The author said this in her author’s note at the back “I don’t pretend to know how it felt to be imprisoned in Birkenau I don’t think anyone who wasn’t there can ever really understand But it’s important to try Reading history books and memoirs talking about the Holocaust and writing about it is the best way to stop it from happening again”The Wrong Boy is a beautifully written novel It’s filled with music and sadness and an accidental love It’s filled with the horrors of what happened to the millions of Jews that were imprisoned in war camps – not to “work” as everyone thought but to be killed It’s about Hanna who plays piano One day she would have been a famous pianist But Hitler destroyed her family her world her life This is her story The author has a clear voice While the voice of the novel isn’t bursting with extreme emotion the plot characters and dialogue come across with striking power and clarity The description is perfect – not too much not too little Of course being a pianist myself I love the musical angle I love how Hanna carried a C sharp note which she pried from her piano at home before being sent to the prison camp and her sister took photos and hid the film So people would know what Hilter did to them I love the strong family bond touches The author brought you into her world with a flick of a word and when Hanna sits at the piano in the Commandant’s house to play or die I can see her agony The novel is very historically correct The little details added in without huge emphasis really make this story It has so many layers – love horror war fear escape pride The themes are woven in and out without preaching or pointing fingers And the twists They’re perfect There are places to cry and laugh and sneer and screech and cringe and feel so overwrought with the horror of the Holocaust That saying the detail isn’t extreme It’s written simply but the description is definitely there gritty and horrible alright It’s just not written overpowering and grotesue The author managed to say so much by saying just a little That is a uality I stand in pure awe ofMy only uestion came in relation to the dialogue I'm all for historical books not being written in a dry no contractions anywhere very correct voice I don’t mind it but I do like the lighter relatable dialogue – mimicking though not extremely so how we speak today The Wrong Boy had a nice balance But there were times when I think the author veered too “modern” Erika Hanna’s older sister says “Screw you Hitler” And there are a few other references like that With the rest of the book being so historically sound I think that detracted from it The love story half is sad and sweet and doomed Not overdone Not underdone Karl the German Commandant’s son is every bit the gallant young man trapped by a father and people that he doesn’t agree with He sees everything He does everything While Hanna sees him as indifferent shy and moody at first everything changes when she realizes he cares about Jews He knows them by name He saves her life a few times when she makes some dire mistakes on the piano and gradually the start to fall in love It’s so sad Right from the beginning While this story didn’t leave me as haunted thank goodness as The Boy in the Striped Pajamas it is definitely a tale to be remembered Sad Sombre Sweet Cruel Truth