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Reviewed by Luwi Nyakansaila for Readers' Favorite
For many years, Felice Hardy wondered about her Jewish family heritage. Filled with the fear of antisemitism, her family rarely discussed their past. Using her experience as a travel writer, the author tracked down her grandparents' story. In The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis, she narrates the stories of her Austrian National Tennis champion grandmother, Liesl, her grandfather's double escape to London, and the tragic experiences the rest of their family went through during the Nazi regime. She talks about the lives they had in Austria and the success they had in the sports and fashion industry. Unfortunately, everything was taken away from them, and to escape, they had to forge documents, apply for visas, and use dire means to find safety. Grab a copy of this book to follow the family's emotional journey.
The Tennis Champion Who Escaped the Nazis is a story about family, resilience, and embracing your past. Felice Hardy uses a conversational format to tell her family’s story, and this puts the reader in their shoes and makes them feel their panic and desperation to survive. You will need a box of tissues, especially when reading what happened to the family members that were left behind. Fortunately, hilarious stories like the young Liesl jumping out of a horse carriage to see if she would still be standing brought humor to the narrative. The book is not written chronologically, but it is easy to follow and understand. It also contains images of her family and articles and documents related to their story. I highly recommend this book because it needs to be heard and celebrated. Great work.