My Real Name Is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih : Book Review 6
|Published :||September 15th 2018 by Mandel Vilar Press|
I received this book on NetGalley for review. I thank Tara Lynn Masih and Mandel Vilar Press for the opportunity to review this book.
About the Author-
Tara Lynn Masih has won multiple book awards as editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction and The Chalk Circle: Intercultural Prizewinning Essays. Author of My Real Name Is Hanna (a Skipping Stones Honor Award Book) and Where the Dog Star Never Glows: Stories, she has published fiction, poetry, and essays in numerous anthologies and literary magazines (including Confrontation, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Natural Bridge, The Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, and The Caribbean Writer). Several limited edition illustrated chapbooks featuring her flash fiction have been published by The Feral Press and archived at such universities as Yale and NYU, and awards for her work include The Ledge Magazine’s fiction award, The Lou P. Bunce Creative Writing Award, a Massachusetts Cultural Council finalist fiction grant, and Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices, and Best of the Web nominations.
Review of My Real Name Is Hanna –
My Real Name Is Hanna is a poignant tale of a family, their hope, and survival. This book is very close to the events that transpired to the Stermer family and other survivors. During the Holocaust, there was good, bad and evil and all of these elements are captured in this book as it happened. Masih has done a great deal of research and wrote this story as much close to reality as possible. The book is engaging and moving.
My feelings about the book –
Masih has kept a perfect balance and the book is haunting at times and it is also hopeful. The protagonist of the book Hanna is a smart and intelligent girl. Masih has also captured the culture of Ukrainians, Jewish and other communities in her book. This book depicts the sheltered mentality of humans, homophobic behavior of humans and also shows strong-willed, humane, altruistic aspects of human. While reading about the holocaust events from this book one can understand what humans are capable of.
The plot of the book –
This book is based on true events. Stermer Family, along with other five families stayed in a cave in Ukraine for 511 days during the Holocaust and were liberated by the Russian army. All 38 people lived in the pitch black cave, they used the small underground lake for drinking water. One member from each family would go out in search of food at night and throughout the day they stayed put in.
Hanna fled to the cabin in the woods with her family and stayed there until it was dangerous to be there. They moved again to a cave and stayed there until it was safe to move out.
Characters in the book –
The story is fictional but most of the characters are based on real people. Hanna is inspiring, optimistic and heartening. During the course of the book, she changed from being a kid to becoming a strong, intelligent adult with the same innocence. The character of Hanna’s parents is strong-willed and protective. I loved the character of Yuri, who never comes in the story but drives the lives of people in hiding. Alla’s character has been another lovable character. People like Alla give hope to humanity.
What I didn’t like –
The book has covered almost all aspects of the World War II. This book is a must-read. There is nothing that I didn’t like in this book.
Before reading the book I did not know about the Stermer family thus events in the book came as surprise to me when the family moved into the cave. Stermer family and the other survivors who lived with them in that cave have created a record of longest uninterrupted underground survival in recorded human history.
The protagonist Hanna is narrating this story to her daughter. She realizes that we do no good to our children when we lie to them or hide the truth and thus, she is telling the tale of her and her family’s survival. She suffered the pains and problems in her teens but can express them clearly since she is a grown-up.
A 100% 5 star read. This book deserves to be read by the mass. This is the best book of 2018 so far.
Did you like the review of the book? Will you be reading My Real Name Is Hanna book? Let me know the comments below.