Rose Under Fire~By Elizabeth Wein- 9/10 Sera Lew

Over the summer, I read a few books. One of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Taking place during World War Two, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein, sends a strong and positive message to the audience even despite the characters condition. On a scale of one to ten, I would give this book a solid nine, as it was a book like no other. The reason why it is one point away from ten is only because the beginning unsuccessfully caught my attention. At first, the book appeared to be dry, and unfortunately at some points, boring. However, after getting past those first few chapters, I will never regret reading this book. It has fantastic meaning behind the story, and it is truly touches the reader’s heart. I was never a big fan of historical-fiction novels, but after this summer, I definitely have to say that this book opened my eyes, and gave me a new perspective on books in general. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, even if they say that historical fiction is not their type. It is a good read for all.

This beautifully written novel gives a good messages to the reader, and resolves in a positive manner, despite the heavy and depressing subject matter. Rose, the main character, who is captured by the Nazis, is taken to an all women’s concentration camp called Ravensbrück. During this intriguing story, the author illustrates the messages of friendship and hope throughout the novel. This story truly is a phenomenal piece of art that touches all of the reader’s hearts. While Rose stays confined within the prison, she discovers the true importance and power to friendship. When she comes across the many large hurdles that faces her both externally and internally, the power of friendship is tested when Rose gains a tremendous amount of hope for the unimagined (like escape) through her companions at Ravensbrück. One particular thing that drives Rose the most is her eagerness to “tell the world” and to put the Nazis on trial for the terrible actions they inflicted upon their prisoners. This novel captures the image of a powerful message that resonates with anyone who reads the novel.

This novel truly opened my eyes towards the real struggles that one might have faced in concentration camp. It amazed me, as the reader, of how much one’s mindset can affect the final outcome. With Rose’s constant, up kept attitude of hope, she is able to keep herself living throughout the traumatic times at camp. As the novel progresses, it focuses more on Rose’s internal feelings and hardships she goes through before and after the concentration camp.

This masterpiece takes the reader on a journey full of emotions, and resolves nicely reminding the reader of its empowering message of friendship. The author is able to skillfully attach the reader’s emotions towards what is presented in the story, whether it would be an event or a character. This book overall teaches not only the power of friendship, but also perseverance, loyalty, and respect.

While reading his novel, I was intrigued by the amount of emotion I had attached to the characters and the storyline itself. The author did a spectacular job in tying in the reader’s emotions. “How?” You may ask. I came up with a simple theory of why. The main bond and relationship between the reader and the story is created when the author is able to write in a way that conveys an emotion that the reader can relate to. On Wein’s part, her role is difficult as she had to write in a way that connects the reader to a whole different era in history. The author did an excellent job in doing so by her specific style of writing. The book is written in first person, already partially tying the reader to the character’s emotions. Additionally, the book is written in the style of journal entries, which naturally becomes even more personal, and the reader begins to feel more attached as they are almost in the “mind” of the character. This connection brings more feelings of relatability to the reader’s themselves. As they start feeling emotions with the character, they can envision the feelings that they go through I need their situation. This aspect of the novel made it all the more interesting and powerful.

Another aspect in how the author wrote that truly amazed me was the conclusive feeling the reader feels at the end of the novel. Though this is a heavy topic, the author is able to lift the mood at the end, but still resolving the book in a realistic and plausible manner. Even after all of the negatives the character experienced, all of the deaths, punishment, abuse, etcetera, the author is still  able to find the positives in the situation. This in itself can teach the audience a powerful message, that no matter what happens, no matter how tough, one will always get through that hurdle and at the end, and stand themselves back on their own feet once again. This story is truly amazing in all aspects considering both the lesson and the style of the author’s writing.

I would recommend this book to any type of reader because I believe it is a “must read” type of book. I am almost certain that you will have no regrets after flipping that last page over and reading every last word that was carefully chosen and written by the author. This book is an art piece as it illustrates so many important ideas in life. Not only can the reader learn more about World War Two, but also lessons that can be applied to everyday life.

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