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What she does not realise is that she has also embarked on a confronting personal journey. Inspired by a true incident that took place in Poland in , Diane Armstrong's powerful novel is part mystery, part forensic investigation, and a moving and confronting story of love, loss and sacrifice. Here is a consummate writer at the top of her form. Seven Days in May by Kim Izzo.


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From there you can navigate to the title you are interested in. Find the hottest teen books, connect with your favorite YA authors and meet new friends who share your reading interests! Your one stop blog for teaching information, author updates and a wealth of educational resources. Book Overview Author Info and Events. About the Book Diane Armstrong's bestselling fictional debut A mother's silence, a village with a terrible secret, and an Australian woman who travels to Poland to uncover the truth When forensic dentist Halina Shore arrives in Nowa Kalwaria to take part in a war crimes investigation, she finds herself at the centre of a bitter struggle in a community that has been divided by a grim legacy.

What she does not realise is that she has also embarked on a confronting personal journey. It explores both the rational objectivity of science and the irrational at times subjectivity of human behaviour. This is a novel worth reading. Aug 29, Sonja Arlow rated it liked it Shelves: In the time between Russia retreating and Nazi Germany arriving, something happened in a small Polish community in that can only be described as collective madness.

How do you otherwise make sense of a community that turns on its citizens, rounding up all the Jewish people and burning them alive? People that have been your neighbours since you were born now rape torture and burn you. The story pulled me because of the medical forensic angle and of course any story set during WW2 is difficult In the time between Russia retreating and Nazi Germany arriving, something happened in a small Polish community in that can only be described as collective madness.

The story pulled me because of the medical forensic angle and of course any story set during WW2 is difficult to pass up but I expected to like this a lot more than I did. I think this is a story that is absolutely worth telling as its based on real events but I felt that the writing could have been a tighter. There were quite a few instances that the narration meandered too much for my liking and I struggled to really connect with the main character. I did not dislike this novel but stood outside the story throughout my reading experience, never feeling as invested or involved as I would have expected to be based on the content.

This is one of them. And there appears to be quite a significant amount of information online, where it appears that events happened very much as described in the book. There is some information about it at the Jewish Holocaust Library - http: Diane Armstrong did a great job of making her characters people that I connected with, and therefore I cared about what happened to them, especially the main character, Halina, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading of her journey to discover the truth of what happened in Nowa Kalwaria.

Winter Journey

There were some interesting theological issues which resulted in some great quotes. The premise of this novel of an Australian forensic dentist being invited to Poland to examine the remains of a massacre committed 60 years before. The dentist was born in Poland and brought to Australia as a girl by her mother. The timelines in the story were often unclear and the disadvantage of an audiobook is that the reader can't go back to recheck details. The story of working to uncover the truth behind the death of the entire Jewish population of a Polish village in is compelling.

T The premise of this novel of an Australian forensic dentist being invited to Poland to examine the remains of a massacre committed 60 years before. The various characters - Halina the forensic dentist, the local priest, an American Rabbi, the local teacher - are all well drawn. However, the author presents a cascade of coincidences that were confusing and unnecessary. This was based on an actual event, and the author should have remained more faithful to reality. Jan 05, Fiona rated it really liked it Shelves: Halina Shore is an Australian forensic dentist.

Her career takes her to mass graves to help identify the bodies based on the dental remains. She has been requested to go to a village in Poland to help identify the remains of Jews who were massacred during WWII. This is bittersweet for Halina because she was born in Poland but knows nothing of her family; her only known relative, her mother, recently passed away. The Jews were not killed by Nazis as some Poles want to hear, but were kill Powerful.

The Jews were not killed by Nazis as some Poles want to hear, but were killed by their own neighbors, with the blessing of the Nazis who were marching into the area. While in Poland, she comes across her own family tree.

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Was she one of the few survivors of the massacre? The Jewish survivors lived because of the goodness of their Gentile Polish neighbors. This novel does not delve into why some people do evil things, but why some people do good things. Why did the Polish neighbors help their Jewish friends? What prompted Halina to jump into the sea in Sydney when she saw a boy fall into the water?

The local Catholic priest explains to Halina that "good was as much a mystery as evil. The eye goes blind when it only wants to see why. After I finished reading the book, I read a little about the author. She and her family had to hide their Jewish-ness by pretending to be Catholics. Aug 15, Lorri rated it liked it. I found that to be fascinating.

I liked some parts of the story line, yet found some to be lacking or repetitious. The actual writing, itself, was excellent. I would give this 3. A very well written but, sad story, about a horrific event in Poland where a community rounded up the Jewish people and burned them in a barn while blaming it on the Germans. Halina, a forensics scientist, uncovers an unknown piece of history while also learning about her family lineage. Jan 05, Kelly Kauffman rated it liked it. This was a difficult read for me. I picked this book up because it deals with World War II era, and I am very interested in this time period.

The story takes place in current times, but the main character is piecing together events that took place in a small village in Poland during WWII. It was slow to get moving and I actually abandoned it for a while, but eventually came back to it. The story picked up about a third o This was a difficult read for me. The story picked up about a third or so of the way through it and I actually enjoyed the story line, although, I found it to be predictable.

So, besides the slow beginning, what made it a hard read? I feel like there was a sexual scene towards the beginning that really didn't need to be there. It was a little too detailed for my tastes and I don't feel like it added anything to the story line - in fact I feel like it took away from it.


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All of the other "romantic" scenes in the book were done much more tactfully. Also, reading about the torture and killing of the Jews was very hard for me to stomach. This, however, did add to the storyline. While this is historical fiction, I'm guessing events similar to those described in the book probably really took place. I'm not advocating that we stick our heads in the sand and pretend it never happened.

I'm just mentioning that it was hard to read and left me with a lot to think about. So, for sensitive people, this probably will not be the best book to choose. Overall, I did get drawn into the story and wanted find out what was going to happen and how the characters were going to react.

I am glad that I came back to the book and finished it. Winter Journey is a haunting book This also becomes a story of family secrets, as unexpected twists are revealed. As is the case for many books written on this subject, there are parts that are painful to read.

But this is also the story of sacrifice, family, and faith This book is written with humanity and heart that reach past the evil, and the courage that transcends bigotry. Apr 29, Nita rated it it was amazing. I was so intrigued with this story. It is horrifying that this actually happened. Diane Armstrong writes beautifully though this is a difficult story. I found the forensic science fascinating and was totally drawn into the mystery of the story.

If you liked Lilac Girls and Mischling then this is a must read! Halina Shore is a forensic dentist who was born in Poland and moved to Australia when she was nine. After the death of her aloof mother, she accepts an invitation to help exhume a mass grave in Poland. In , the Jews of the town were burned to death in a barn. The town's residents believe the Nazis did it, but rumors persi Halina Shore is a forensic dentist who was born in Poland and moved to Australia when she was nine. The town's residents believe the Nazis did it, but rumors persist that it was the Polish people who committed the crime.

The investigation is supposed to find out the truth but it only serves to bring out how deep seated the racial and religious history of Nowa Kalwaria has been. I found this to be a very emotional story. It's based on a true incident and probed some important questions about humanity and religiously-based atrocities committed during WW2.

It's an intricately plotted book that reads almost like a suspense novel with Halina trying to piece together the past and what it means for the present. There is both personal and social tragedy and triumph in this narrative that explores the twin faces of goodness and evil.


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This is a moving and powerful book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading. In July , the inhabitants of the rural village of Novacalvaria, Poland, murdered their own Jewish population. Only two children escaped the brutal inferno brought upon them by their former friends, neighbours and villagers.

Sixty years later, forensic odontologist dentist , Halina This is a moving and powerful book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading. The project, however, unleashes prejudices old and new - with bittersweet consequences for both the dead and the living.

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I have written a longer review of this book here http: Wonderful This journey of discovery could easily serve as a lesson for our contemporary situation. An illustration of how easily fear and hatred can cause humanity to do unspeakable things and also how others can open their hearts to great good. This is a book I could not put down.