Babylon Laid Waste: A Journey in the Twilight of the Idols
Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)
Artemisia Safran, a young Jewish woman living in New York, returns to her native Germany in search of her grandmother on a hint that she may have survived. However, in 1946 the defeated Reich, under Allied rule, is off-limit to travel in or out. With the help of a people-smuggling ring, Misia manages to breach the fortress with false German identity papers. As her journey takes her deeper into the devastated enemy territory, she encounters an array of colorful, frequently shady characters from victorious Americans, unrepentant Nazis, Jewish camp survivors, and washed-up opera stars, all of whom have intriguing personal stories to tell and private agendas to pursue. In the course of a roller coaster journey of unforeseen emotional ups and downs, Misia becomes a major player in a drama in which nothing and no one is what appearances suggest or pretend reality to be.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 10 out of 10
Prose: 10 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 10.00 out of 10
Plot: The plot of a young Jewish granddaughter attempting to save her grandmother in 1946 war-torn Germany is an interesting take on this time period. The pace is established in the Prologue and is maintained throughout the book. The tension pulls the reader into the story on the first page and creates a connection that drives the reader to finish the book.
Prose/Style: The syntax has a seamless, lyrical flow, driving the emotions of the scenes. The author is quite skilled at this, and it’s one of the book's strengths.
Originality: A young Jewish woman safe in New York City leaves to enter war-torn Germany in 1946. She pretends to be German so as to save her grandmother. The granddaughter ends up in a US Army prison for Nazi criminals. This original story will grab the readers and pull them into the journey.
Character Development: The characters in this novel are well-developed and memorable. The internal dialogue of the protagonist, Artemisia Safran, is captivating. The dialogue between characters feels organic and believable.
Date Submitted: July 14, 2019