The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner

"We do not become different people as we age; we just add layers of experience onto who we already are."

Deeply interesting story of a young girl of German descent who is sent with her family to an internment camp in Texas when WW2 starts. She meets a Japanese girl there who is the same age, and it's fascinating to learn about them both. They are now both many years older, having lived separate lives, not connecting again until now. Elise recounts her life as it unfolded, in incredible detail.

More than eleven thousand German American and German Latin American legal residents and citizens were interned during World War II at the camp in Crystal City, Texas, and in other similar detention facilities. They were encouraged and sometimes forced to repatriate to their country - used in exchange for Americans. The thing is though, people like Elise were born here and Americans too, their parents living as Americans, but it didn't matter that they were innocent of any crime. I can identify a little bit, as my Grandmother's parents came over from Belgium in 1905, but that was well before WW1. My Grandmother was born here. I'm sure their German heritage and accents stood out. This story has very real accounts of bombing in Germany and what it was like to live there even if you didn't agree with what Hitler did and didn't want to be there. Fabulous read, gently woven with present day. Clean read.

". . . the past is nothing you can make friends or enemies of. It just is what it is. Or was. It is this day you are living right now, this very day, that is yours to make of it what you will. So make it beautiful, if you can."

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
#TheLastYearOfTheWar #NetGalley #BooksYouCanFeelGoodAbout #SusanMeissner

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Created by Phred St Laurent May 27, 2010 at 11:35pm. Last updated by Phred St Laurent May 31, 2010.

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