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A remarkably written book with a powerful story. The book was oddly beautiful in its telling of such a dangerous, terrifying journey. There are many descriptions that are just so well-written. It still gets across the fear and disgust experienced by the characters, but also provides a positive, hopeful light in all the darkness. I was blown away by the writing style. There are so many wonderful descriptions in this book.
The story itself follows Rachel as she learns about how her great-grandmother escaped Russia with her family. It is a wonderful book that details the ingenuity and determination of a family through times of struggle. There are suspenseful moments as well as those that are lighthearted, heartwarming, and fun. A well-constructed book that takes the reader on a ride they will not soon forget.
There are a few slightly graphic scenes. For the most part, the action of the violence is not described, but rather the aftermath, mostly in terms of animals. They are important in setting the scene of what the family experiences and are not overly gruesome, but may be upsetting to some young readers (as an animal-loving adult, I was a bit upset) so I find it good to know about them going into the book.
Overall, a wonderfully-written book that provides an eye-opening look at power dynamics, discrimination, and family ties. This book shows the lengths a family will go to in order to survive together.