Friday, January 21, 2022

Book Review - Mala's Cat; A Memoir of Survival in World War II; Mala Kacenberg

 

Dreamscape Audio and Pegasus Books - 2022
(audio download provided at no cost by publisher and NetGalley)

Mala Szorer, a Jewish girl, grew up in quaint forested village in Poland.  Her family had a good life until WWII began and the German invasion changed everything.  She wasn't even 14 when she witnessed the killing of her older brother and her family by SS men.  

 Knowing she had to flee the area if she had any chance of surviving, Mala and her cat, Malach, who she truly believed was her guardian angel, fled to find safety. Mala was a strong, smart, blond blue-eyed girl and, the fact that she did not look Jewish worked to her advantage.  With the help of some kind-hearted people along the way she was provided with occasional food and clothing and, eventually she able to pose as a Christian, fake her identity and even find work and shelter. 

I loved listening to Mala's story and her nearly (6) year fight to survive.  This book, originally published in 1995 as, Alone in the Forest, was a wonderful and important story.  Unlike many other WWII, Holocaust stories, I did not find this one too dark and depressing despite the subject manner. Mala was a wonderful character, she was so determined with a nothing to lose kind of attitude that worked to her advantage. A beautiful story of survival despite the odds. The audio, narrated by Kristin Atherton, is highly recommended.

Rating - 5/5 stars

25 comments:

  1. WOW, that does sound like a goodie!

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  2. I like that her cat helped her through this experience and that it's a different type of WWII story.

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    1. The cat actually plays an almost non-existent role as it always shows up but yet, she claims she never saw it eat or drink - almost like a guardian angel??

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  3. I'm not a fan of war stories, but this does sound good. Your statement that it's not too dark and depressing convinced me to get a copy.

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    1. Vicki, neither am I but, this memoir gave me a good story of survival without the horrific details surrounding the Holocaust.

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  4. Wow! Five stars. This one really impressed you, didn't it?

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    1. Yes, a different kind of WWII memoir; Mala was so bright, quick on her feet and just never gave up.

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  5. This one's going on my Goodreads 'want to read' shelf right away!

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    1. I was quite impressed; hope you will enjoy this memoir. The author, I believe, is still alive. She married and had several children as well.

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  6. I would love this one if it were based on true character or real stories. It sounds like a satisfying read though

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  7. This one sounds like a good read. Will add this onto my wishlist.

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    1. It was different from other WWII survival stories and, as I mentioned not gory of depressing.

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  8. This sounds like an amazing memoir!

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    1. I liked it a lot; I believe the author is still alive and in her 90s. I read she did marry and have several children as well.

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  9. You had me at cat ! And then I read your synopsis and brief review!!

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    1. The cat plays a small role in the story but, it definitely seemed to guide her and give her strength.

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  10. I do like the sound of this one. It's always amazing to see what people are able to survive in their lives.

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    1. I know, I could never see myself making it through something like that but, it seems we find strength when we need it the most.

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  11. Sounds hopeful and inspiring despite her circumstances.

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    1. Yes, I was happy there were not any horrific details and I was happy to learn she eventually found happiness.

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  12. All I want to know is if the cat survives.... Then I'll glad read it or listen to it. It sounds beautiful. But only if the cat survives.

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    1. The cat plays a rather small part and you don't learn of anything bad happening to it.

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  13. Thanks to you this is on my wish list!

    stacy

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