Aug 17, 2009

Sacramento Book Review reviews OHOL

The Other Half of Life
By Kim Ablon Whitney
Knopf, $16.99, 256 pages
Emotions are high as the St. Francis leaves her German port. Some
sing, others cry, but most feel a strong sense of relief as they watch
Nazi Germany fade into the horizon and look forward to days of
freedom in Cuba. All, perhaps, except for fifteen-year-old Thomas. For
him, the promise of freedom, of escape, that the St. Francis offers is
too good to be trusted, especially considering the fact that most of the
ship’s crew, except the Captain, are Nazi party members and officers. Why, Thomas
wonders, would a Nazi boat take nine hundred Jews to freedom, and on a luxury cruise
liner, no less? As Thomas struggles to reconcile his desire for freedom with his contempt
and suspicion for the crew and their shady behavior, he forges friendships and love with
the other passengers whose sole hope is for a new life. But, when the Cuban government
denies the boat entry into the country, and the American Coast Guard trail alongside the
St. Francis to make sure she does not dock on U.S. soil, what are the passengers left to
The ill-fated story of the MS St. Francis, German-Jewish refugees and her Nazi crew is
based on one of the lesser known, and devastatingly true, events that transpired during the
Nazi era. While The Other Half of Life contains fictional characters, the story’s characters
and events mirror those of the MS St. Louis. This compelling insight into one of the most
embarrassing and heartbreaking events surrounding World War II is a must read for any
reader, both young adult and adult alike, who is interested in learning about the
Reviewed by Kim Hudson Raffanelli

Aug 3, 2009

Blog on Big Eq

Horse people!

My latest blog on Big Eq is up.

Also, just got back from visiting Storyland in NH, right next to the old Attitash show! What a wonderful show that was--all jumpers. It was always one of my faves. The Spaghetti Shed is still there and is as yummy as ever!