By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz Book Review

Tibor “Max” Eisen is part of a dying generation.

Born in 1929 to an Orthodox Jewish family in the former Czechoslovakia, Max entered Auschwitz at age 15. Before World War II, his extended family contained 60 people. By the time the war was over, only Max and two of his cousins remained.

His recently published memoir, By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz, starts with his brief childhood and guides the reader through a harrowing tale of near death and survival in the most infamous Nazi death camp.

I understand that this is a memoir and not a novel. But still, I wish the narrative was not as dry. That being said, I found the story to be engaging. Surviving any of the Nazi death camps was often a game of luck and chance more than anything else. The fact that Mr. Eisen not only survived, but thrived as an adult blows my mind.

Now retired, Mr. Eisen travels around Canada speaking to various groups about his experiences during the war. The fact is that the survivors are dying. Books like Mr. Eisen’s will be the only voice and narrative we have for this time in history. If nothing else, this book reminded me of how easy it is to hate someone based on external factors and how far that hate can go.

I recommend it.


Throwback Thursday-Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants (2005)

There is something to be said about the relationship that women have with their friends. It’s almost like having sisters who are connected not by blood, but by friendship and an emotional connection that only gets stronger as the years roll by.

In the 2005 movie, Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, four friends are separating for the summer. A pair of jeans that fits all four girls will them keep the relationship strong as their lives begin to veer off into different directions.

Lena (Alexis Bledel) is spending the summer with her grandparents in Santorini. Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) is the wannabe documentary filmmaker. Carmen (America Ferrera) has been shipped off to visit her estranged father. Bridget (Blake Lively) tries to keep her focus on the ball at soccer camp, but can’t help but make eyes at one of the coaches.

Based on the book of the same name by Ann Brashares, the movie is basically the standard coming of age story. But, what I like about it is that the lead characters are four very strong empowered young women who are also human and dealing with the same dilemmas that every 17 year old girl deals with.

I recommend it.

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