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In This Hospitable Land

In This Hospitable Land

Написано Lynmar Brock Jr.

Озвучено David Baker


In This Hospitable Land

Написано Lynmar Brock Jr.

Озвучено David Baker

оценки:
4/5 (7 оценки)
Длина:
14 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Dec 4, 2012
ISBN:
9781469243337
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

Award-Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Historical category of the 2012 International Book Awards

When the Germans invade Belgium in 1940, chemistry professor André Severin fears the worst. His colleagues believe their social and political positions will protect them during the occupation, but André knows better. He has watched Hitler's rise to power and knows the Nazis will do anything to destroy their enemies. For the Severins are Jews, non-practicing, yes, but that won't matter to the Germans-or to the Belgians desperate to protect themselves by informing on their neighbors. And so André and his brother Alin take their parents, wives, and children and flee south. But when France falls to the Nazis, the refugees are caught in a rural farming community where their only hope for survival is to blend in with the locals. Fortunately, the Severins have come to Huguenot country, settled by victims of religious persecution who risk their own lives to protect the Jewish refugees and defy the pro-Nazi government. And as the displaced family grows to love their new neighbors, André and Alin join forces with the French Resistance to help protect them. Based on one family's harrowing true story of survival, In This Hospitable Land is an inspirational novel about courage and the search for home in the midst of chaos.

Издатель:
Издано:
Dec 4, 2012
ISBN:
9781469243337
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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4.1
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  • (4/5)
    Based on a true story, In This Hospitable Land is a work of fiction that traces the the journey of the Severin family as they flee Belgium when the Germans invade in 1940. Andre Severin is a chemistry professor at the Free University of Brussels, and his brother, Alex is a philatelist. When the Germans drop bombs on Brussles, Andre heads to the seaside resort of LeCoq, Belgium where his wife and Alex's wife (who happen to be sisters) and their children as well as Andre and Alex's parents have already moved. When the Germans invade Belgium, the Severins, who are non-practicing Jews, flee across France, staying just a few steps ahead of the invaders at every stage of their trip.

    For a short time, they feel safe in France, but then France falls to Nazi Germany as well, and the refugees from Belgium are trapped. They desperately move across France from just outside and south of Paris to one small farming community and then to a more secluded farming community in Huguenot country. Here, they remain safe for awhile, but very guardedly so. Soon enough, however, they find that the French police have been charged to register any refugees and then, the Severin's find themselves worrying about not only the Germans, but the French military, specifically the Milice, a paramilitary force created with the aid of the Germans.

    The Severins, who had settled on a farm and undertaken hard labor, far different from what they had been used to in Germany, found themselves relying on the kindness of the Huguenot people of a remote French village. Both Andre and Alex join forces with the French Resistance, and soon find themselves in hiding. Not long after, their wives, Denise and Genevieve, along with their children are forced from the farm and into hiding. The family finds themselves divided as they are shepherded from home to home or other various locations, always on guard, for "It's your neighbors you must worry about. They might prove deadly when the Brownshirts [the Milice] come with questions and demands. You believe that they respect and even love you. Maybe that's so. But people say and do terrible things if they believe betraying others will keep them safe..." Fortunately, the Severins find some extraordinary members of the community who aid them throughout the occupation of France.

    Brock's fictionalization of this experience is, at times, an exceptionally intimate tale of a family desperate to survive in this troubling time; at other times, however, the story lacks an intimacy that would make this a much stronger work. While I found myself largely absorbed throughout the novel, the detail that Brock devotes to some occurrences, such as Andres obsession with journaling both their successes and failures with certain planting techniques and crops, seems overdone especially when scant detail is given to the sexual assault of Ida and Kate. More detail was devoted to the slaughtering of a farm animal than to this incident, making the reaction of the adults seem far too remote and understated. Given the heft of the text already, however, perhaps Brock was leery of adding additional detail for fear that the book was less likely to appeal to a mass audience. However, this concern could easily have been addressed by considering more careful where minute details could have been edited from the text to allow for more breadth of detail in other areas.

    Overall, however, I found the the novel well done, especially in terms of the overall development of the characters. Further, for a work of fiction, In This Hospitable Land was also highly informative, so much so that at times I had to remind myself that this was a novel and not a memoir or a piece of non-fiction writing. However, I think that the informative nature of many of the details--describing the history of certain villages within France, specifically, the history of the people who settled in this area, was necessary to the overall structure of the novel and to understanding the experiences that were common to many refugee families who fled and then hid from persecution from the Germans when Belgium and France were invaded.

    The strongest part of the novel for me, was the details Brock devoted to establishing the relationship between Andre and Alex as brothers as well as the relationships between the two brothers and their respective wives. These details are where the intimate feel of the novel comes into play and really helped me connect with the characters. In addition to the thoughtful attention to these familial relationships, another strong aspect was Brock's handling of Andres struggle with how to aid the French Resistance while remaining a pacifist. We see Andre's exploration of his most basic ethical, moral, and religious beliefs as he struggles with not only what is happening to his beloved Belgium but also with the persecution of his people, despite the fact that he is not a practicing Jew. Many of the questions Andre raises about ethics, morality, religion, and non-violence are themes that we possibly each explore individually but that we find ourselves examining on a social and cultural level as well.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 ★---In This Hospitable Land is a moving WW2 adventure that begins in Brussels, Belgium on May 10, 1940 and ends in Brussels on October 9, 1944.Based on one family's harrowing true survival story,we find factual account of a Jewish family (Severin), forced from their home in Belgium during the Nazi invasion of Europe in World War II."Members of the Severin family fled the Wehrmacht’s invasion and ultimately settled in the Cevennes area of rural southern France only to find themselves caught between occupied German soldiers, suspicious townsfolk, and the local pro-Nazi Vichy government.The family, trapped in the middle of this chaos, is forced to depend upon already wary neighbors to hide them from possible capture by the Nazis."The grateful Severin brothers join up with the resistance fighters of the Maquis and the story evolves.-----------------Biography reveals that Lynmar Brock, Jr. married one of the little girls."Having married a girl from Belgium who arrived in the US in 1950 I was really interested in her family for my own sake and as much as for our two sons.I wanted them to know of their mother's story.....getting married in 1963, Claudie and I sat down with her father and aunt and uncle and recorded five hours of conversation about the war years."Events depicted are real.Dialog reflects family and other French residents who engaged in the events discussed.(quoted material is from overview and the author's biographical information.)
  • (3/5)
    Three stars, but I certainly don't love the book! I recommend it to those curious about a Jewish Belgian family's experiences during WW2. It reads as a book for young adults. It begins with the German occupation of Belgium, the initial bombing in Brussels and then it follows two families' flight to southern France. They are hidden by Huguenots in Languedoc, France. This is a novel, but is based on the author's family. The book is interesting, filled with all sorts of diverse details. It is about life in rural southern France during the war years. Historical war facts are related, but the emphasis is on how these events played out in France. How the French people helped the refugees, how the villagers and the hidden Jews survived on a day to day basis, what they ate, how they were clothed, the harvesting of chestnuts, the French Resistance, all these topics are covered by following the two Belgian families. The main emphasis is the little things of daily life. I found it interesting because I currently live in Belgium and spend much time in France. I have visited the villages spoken of. I believe this has increased my appreciation; a person who has not visited the towns of southern France may be less enthused.Yes,there are diverse tidbits that are interesting, at least for me!The writing is simplistic. It reads as YA literature. There are four children in the families. The children's perspectives are covered as well as the adults'. The narration by David Baker wasn't fantastic. The story is simple to follow in the audio format, the characters remain constant. Each chapter has both a title and a date, one event following the next in chronological order. Nothing is confusing. Baker did add voice intonations for the different characters and even one had a lisp that you could always recognize. What was wrong was that some of the words were either incorrectly written or incorrectly pronounced. For example, the French word "merveilleux" was pronounced "marveilleux". Was it written wrong or incorrectly pronounced? Some words were just not correct! Yeah, the book was interesting, but no big winner. Maybe more interesting to me since I live in Belgium and love France!Completed Mar 10, 2013
  • (3/5)
    Lynmar Brock, Jr. creates an intimate portrait of a family's history during WWII. In This Hospitable Land details the hardships experienced by the Severin family. The expansive time they suffered is astounding and their determination to survive, memorable. Historians and those readers with a particular interested in WWII (1940's) will find this a good read. However, the casual historical reading audience might discover the length grueling, daily life repetitive and despite the events, lacking in anticipation. I compare the experience to thumbing through someone else's family photo album or watching home movies. The past is interesting and you get to know the characters, but I felt kept at an arms length and was unable to fully invest. It seemed as if the author was still protecting the privacy of the family and by doing so, I became merely an observer during the journey. For example, when a terrible violation happens to the young girls at school, the matter is given a few sentences and the reaction of parents even less. It was greatly 'breezed' over and took me a bit by surprise. It is an unpleasant topic to dwell on and most families would wish not to discuss. I found myself wondering why more type space was given to describing the slaughter of an animal than to the trauma of these little girls? Perhaps by attempting to be sensitive to private matters, the author was insensitive to revealing a true horror that might have provided a deeper intimacy.*Note my copy was an ARC containing 604 pages
  • (4/5)
    In This Hospitable LandLynmar Brock, Jr.Publisher: AmazonEncore On Sale: April 26, 2011ISBN-10: 9781935597469Trade Paperback AmazonVine Program - ARC – Uncorrected Proof414 pagesIn This Hospitable Land is based on the factual account of a Jewish family forced from their home in Belgium during the Nazi invasion of Europe in World War II. Members of the Severin family ultimately settled in the Cevennes area of rural southern France only to find themselves caught between occupied German soldiers, suspicious townsfolk, and the local pro-Nazi Vichy government. The family, trapped in the middle of this chaos, is forced to depend upon already wary neighbors to hide them from possible capture by the Nazis. It is a remarkable story of perseverance, paranoia, brotherhood, and survival.Thoughtfully researched and carefully studied In This Hospitable Land is an informative work of historical fiction but unfortunately suffers from a number of conspicuous weaknesses and inconsistencies. It is more than evident that the author has supplemented actual conversations with additional exposition which, in the main, is overformal and wooden and, at times, hard to follow and often illogical. The style is awkward and the explanations and details drone on in places and I found myself drifting away from the story during some of the longer explanations.Fortunately, the strong suit of this novel lies in its plot and the heart-rending story of suffering and survival and I recommend it for fans of historical or war fiction and those wishing to educate themselves concerning this little-known account of the Holocaust. No matter the shortcomings In This Hospitable Land deserves high praise for its subject matter. Stories like this warrant publication because the message they contain is always more important than the mechanics used to create them. Otherwise we never would have heard the names Elie and Shlomo Wiesel, Oscar and Emilie Schindler, Art and Vladek Spiegelman, or Tuvia and Zus Bielski and learned of their exceptional stories. Without them we might never have known the suffering endured or the strength of heart our fellow men experienced during those chaotic times. With many of the key figures that lived through these times reaching the end of their lives we risk losing these stories forever. They are integral to our growth as a race and should not be lost to obscurity.3 ½ out of 5 starsThe AlternativeSoutheast Wisconsin