Part I: A Time for War

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
368 Pages
Reviewed on 01/18/2015
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite

Remembrance: A Time for War by A.K. Stauber is a compelling story of the life and survival of Anna Krasynyk, a young Polish girl caught up in the horrors of the Second World War and the Nazi extermination methods used against Jews. None of us know how we would react under horrific situations, and Anna is haunted by the fact that she had not managed to protect and save her five-year-old brother when the German SS arrived in their little community of Ludzow, Poland. She felt responsible for the outcome, which resulted in the brutal murder of all those she held dear. To me, she is nothing short of a heroine. Despite the appalling family losses which took her parents and siblings, she manages to dodge the German SS, as well as the traitors that some of her countrymen became.

The story will capture your attention and you might even find it impossible to put the book aside. I could not. Her pain is described with such skill that you will feel involved in her immense struggle. Her lucky escape will keep you on the edge of your seat. Her fight to survive takes her from orphan, to adult, to love. She is the reason two men compete for her love, despite the acutely dangerous and uncertain times in which they live. Which one she chooses, if any, is a part of the story that will remain undisclosed by me. Suffice to say she reaches adulthood with a clearer vision of what she needs to do for her future.

A.K. Stauber’s writing is beautiful. The story draws you in immediately and refuses to let you go. By the end of the book I felt I had been running alongside Anna. Wonderfully told and obviously well researched, it is a story of unforgettable bravery. I absolutely loved this book, despite its sad content.

Heather Osborne

Remembrance: Part I: A Time for War by A.K. Stauber is the first installment in a gripping series about survival during the Holocaust. Young Anna witnesses the brutal massacre of her family, along with the people of her small village in Poland, at the hands of the Nazis. Escaping into the forest, Anna manages to survive the ordeal. She journeys to the residence of her aunt living in a nearby town in hopes of having shelter. Her aunt and her children are not faring any better with restrictions being put in place on Jewish people across Europe. Knowing she can no longer stay there, Anna sets out to seek help, running into a young man who saves her life. The pair encounter a group of partisans in the forest. Will they be able to survive to see the end of the ghastly ordeal or will the Nazis discover their location and will all be lost?

Miss Stauber writes a very believable piece of Holocaust fiction. As an avid reader and writer of things surrounding the Holocaust, I found it to be very emotional as well as mostly historically accurate, a difficult thing to do when there are so many different accounts of events during the war. Resistance fighters are of a particular interest to me so I knew they inhabited the forests. I was almost reminded of the film Defiance with the way the leaders ran the group. I hope the relationship between Anna and her young man grows more defined. I truly look forward to reading the next installment of Remembrance.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Remembrance: A Time for War by A.K. Stauber is a tragic story full of painful memories. Anna wakes from a frightening dream, one she has had for years. Shaking off the effects of the nightmare, Anna recalls the events that haunt her sleep. She remembers a time when she was a young Jewish girl, living in the rural landscape of Poland. A time when she was naïve and sheltered from the cruelty of mankind. Then the Nazis entered her protected community and attacked her family. Anna escapes, leaving her family behind. She will forever view herself a coward. From that moment on, innocence is nothing but a distant memory. There is a time for everything under heaven, even a time for war! On the run, Anna finds herself doing things she would normally never do to survive. Anchored within her chaos, one constant remains, Pawel.

A.K. Stauber is a stimulating storyteller. In Remembrance: A Time of War, Stauber chronicles the war-torn life of her protagonist’s character. The novel opens with a shocking sequence, grabbing you from the beginning. Baited and hooked you are held captive, feeling the drama of the conflict as it unfolds. Keeping you on pins and needles, the book is hard to put down. The plot moves quickly rom one event to the next. Anticipation turns to expectation, wondering what’s going to happen next. In tragedy after tragedy, the young character comes of age and matures. Overwhelmingly heartbreaking, there aren’t any twists or turns, just daggers of war. However, at times, Stauber includes brief, comforting reprieves, illustrating the kindness of strangers in difficult times. Reaching the turning point, the plot action peaks, then rapidly descends, priming you for the sequel.