Books ~ Darker Themes

 “…With resplendent imagery and a brilliant use of history, the author leads us through their tragic and bittersweet lives. Leaving not one emotion untouched, Kornblatt allowed me to live fully and absolutely with these women, to grieve, to rejoice, to struggle, to exalt and to decry- so completely did I identify with them. This is a painful story, but it is not without hope and therein lies the beauty of the narrative- for whenever a people have been beaten and nearly destroyed, it has been their will to protect their children, their struggle for freedom, their resiliency… their faith that has given wings to their hope. (“You, yourselves, have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagle wings and brought you to Me.” [Exodus 19:4]) I can’t recommend this book enough.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…There are moments of joy, nostalgia and achievement, but there is no escaping the dark and terrifying story of what happened to the people of Nikolaevsk-on-Amur. I am also of “Russian” descent, my Jewish ancestors lived in various locations of this vast empire. This was a moving- poignant- account that hit home for me. That being said, in the end, the Universal Truths evident in the powerhouse that was Luba, and those within her circle of family and friends, made this a story easily relatable to a wide and diverse audience. Congratulations to the author for bringing this story to light and honoring her ancestors.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“Not my typical sort of novel, but once I got through the muck and the mire, not to mention the military action, I was rewarded with the essence of the story which was what attracted me to the book in the first place. Although I hated the ending, the story did afford me a look into the life of a Jewish man in the Tsar’s army. The main character’s inner battles were heart wrenching and poignant. How he reconciles his love of family and religion with his supreme sense of survival and self growth was illuminating. Again, not my typical, period read, but a good read none the less.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…The Sisters of the Winter Wood is dark and violent. How could it not be? The pogroms that devastated the Jewish community prior to the Russian Revolution were the impetus for the mass exodus out of Eastern Europe But, like most fairy tales, there are lessons to be learned and glimmers of truth. By combing magical realism and Jewish history, Rossner paints a vivid picture in keeping with the genre. Fairy tales have always been based on conflict and the human need to find how we fit in the world. Some of scenes made me uncomfortable and the occasional use of modern-day verbiage made me cringe, but the author is successful in making her point. The power of transformation, of community, and of ancestral stories of valor and faith make a powerful statement. People become what they need to be in times of great need. I find that I must give the story a five-star rating and applaud the author for this impressive accomplishment to honor her ancestors and remember their history.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…The author paints a highly descriptive picture to emphasize the lengths one will go to, not only to survive, but to thrive. Every decision one makes has the potential to be life altering. The very powerful instinct to survive might only be surpassed by the human need to be remembered-to endure. The choices made by Anna’s father in the 17th century, or those made by Hannah’s father in the 21st, had dire consequences- their daughters paid a hefty price. The men based their actions on personal integrity, with faith that their efforts were for the good. Hannah might not have agreed. Anna might not have agreed. But when these women, separated by over 300 years, are faced with making their own choices, do they respond by rejecting all that is meaningful to them or do they fight the good fight? I leave it to the reader to decide.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

The Promised Land covers a wide range of topics and genres…all of my favorites rolled up into one. Shtetl life, Immigrants, Mysticism, Pioneers, Frontier History…Crazy! But I liked it. The concept of Divine Providence plays a central role and I find that I’ve been drawn to that theme for quite some time now. I applaud the author for writing characters and experiences without worrying about being politically correct. All in all, I enjoyed the novel; it was tragic, honest, thought-provoking, and essentially spoke of the human experience of trying to be at peace with God’s will.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

Shavlan: A Woman’s Journey to Independence brings us a fictionalized narrative of Sarah Taube’s life, a woman who survives treacherous and turbulent times during the downfall of Imperial Russia and beyond. The experiences of this family speaks volumes of the human condition, the vulnerability, the fragility, and the strength to survive. In my opinion, what occurred to the Jews of Lithuania and throughout the Russian empire is not sufficiently addressed in Jewish historical fiction. This time period is overlooked by the horrors of the Inquisition and the enormity of the Holocaust. It is crucial to understand the scope of the history, the geography and the impact of what took place throughout Eastern Europe, and to never forget the courage and the fortitude of our ancestors who lived to see a new day. Congratulations to the author for bringing this story to light and honoring her ancestors.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“What a treasure. Inspiring. Thought-provoking. Enlightening. Dignity is a powerful thing. We shall use it to break through the walls of the ghetto and set ourselves free.

I am fascinated with this time period: The Rothschilds, the Montefiores…what these family were able to accomplish under that level of persecution and oppression is mind boggling! Sara Aharoni has done a remarkable job bringing this family to life for me. Kol hakavod.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…Our ancestors are more than just grainy, black and white photographs that we store away in a drawer or hang upon our walls. They were flesh and blood, with tremendous stories of passion, accomplishments, tragedies and loss. I congratulate Ms. Fine, for honoring these brave souls with Hidden Ones: A Veil of Memories. The novel is a must read—this story must be known. As the author states, Judaism is a faith of remembrance. We are commanded to teach our children and to encourage respect for those who passed before us. In every generation…L’dor v’dor.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…Josephine experienced her connection to Judaism in subtle ways; baking strudel and lekach (honey cake) reminded her of happy times with her father. She communed with G-d through the beauty and serenity of the desert’s evening sky. I don’t require a pristine Jewish princess in my reading material; I seek a protagonist that lives with her faith-even struggles with her faith-while living in a (gentile) historical period. I have mostly enjoyed this novel and have taken it for what is- a fictionalized accounting of a young, Jewish woman and her experiences in the Wild West.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author

“…Monique Raphel High, granddaughter of Sonia de Gunzburg, has done a remarkable job in bringing us the story of her ancestors and in describing the beauty of the era, as well as, the horrors. Heart-wrenching romance and tragedies, so typical of Russian classics, kept me glued to the page. I applaud the author for providing another view of Russian Jews. “Fiddler on the Roof” is so ingrained in our minds, it seems that we can only visualize Teyve and the people of Anatevka. We forget that Jews of the upper echelons of society rubbed elbows with European and Russian nobility. We forget of the trials and tribulations of the Rothschilds, the Brodskys, the Gunzburgs, and many others. This is not light reading. This novel speaks volumes of the human condition, the vulnerability, the fragility, and the strength to fight and to survive.” ~ Mirta Ines Trupp, Author