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Something Beautiful Happened – A story of Survival and Courage in the Face of Evil by Yvette Manessis Corporon

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I have read a lot of books about the Holocaust but never anything from this area of Europe. I have mixed feelings about the book.

I appreciated the story of the Greek island of Erikousa and how they banded together to save a Jewish family.  It’s so helpful and important to hear stories of bravery and courage in hard times. It was fascinating seeing how the author and so many others worked to piece together what happened to this family. The ending was largely satisfying except for one thing.

After all the meticulous research and searching, they find that one person may still be alive but they don’t pull that thread to see what unravels.  It felt as if there was a gaping hole.

The other difficult thing about this book is the vast amount of people covered. It felt like each person mentioned had their story told regardless of if they were really connected to the Savvas family or not.  Rather than being focused on the Savvas family, the book was more focused on the hunt for the Savvas family. The story jumps around from Greece to Israel to Kansas to Rwanda and the result is that it feels a little disjointed. It could have been a lot tighter and more focused, I felt.  This book wasn’t a fast read but I felt I had to read it fast to keep all the people and connections straight.

For me, I find that when books jump around between stories, I find one story more compelling and interesting than the other.  This affects the pace for me.  Some parts lag while other parts don’t.

I would give a cautious recommendation of this book.  I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to those interested in genealogy research or to those who appreciate a slower paced, intricate, true story.  If you’re more interested in mysteries and suspense or even historical fiction where the story is more fleshed out, this may not be the book for you.

Thank you to Howard Books for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.  I was not required to leave a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 

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