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NO ONE IS HERE EXCEPT ALL OF US By: Ramona Ausubel July 10, 2012

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

        The Lycan Librarian is torn about whether to give this book a good or tepid review. The writing is absolutely lovely in parts, but some of the eccentricities of the characters seemed forced. This reader loves that the author’s family comes from Zalischik, the very town in the Carpathian Region that Ausubel uses in her novel.

        The novel takes place during World War II and the tiny secluded Romanian village of  Zalischik hears news of Hitler’s  ravages. In a desperate measure to protect themselves, they decide to reinvent the world, so discard clocks, books and other things from the old world to begin fresh. This is one of the plot parts this reader did not like. That war created so much destruction all around, that it was hard to watch the residents cause their own. But the part about the stranger who washed up on the  town’s riverbanks is a wonder. She is adopted by the town and becomes a vital part of it.

        Now back to more of what the librarian did not enjoy. Throughout the book, parents gave away their children and it was supposed to be out of love. One mother gifts her 11-year-old daughter to her sister amid everything else, and the sister forces the girl to become a baby, suckle at her breast and learn to walk and talk anew. It’s these parts that forces this reader to wonder exactly how books are chosen for publication. It is imaginative, but readers are being asked to step over a rather wide gulf of plausibility to ride along with this portion of the story.  It takes away substantially from being able to believe  the characters are real.

        I stand undecided on whether to recommend the book for some of the poetic writing, or to suggest one skips this tale of that savage war in place of one of the uncountable others. So do a little research, see how other readers feel about it, and through their comments, you choose.



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