Book Review: What on Earth am I Doing Here?

To be honest, I didn’t want to read this book. Why? Because it’s about a difficult subject: The Holocaust. I have read extensively about this topic, watched movies (okay, with my glasses off for most of them-and I am extremely nearsighted), visited memorials, and discussed it in classes.
I thought I was done.

what on earth am i doing here


And then, my husband told me that I should read this book: What on Earth am I Doing Here?  ‘What for?’ I asked. ‘Because it’s good’, he said.’How do you know about it?’ I asked. ‘I know the author,’ he replied.

Dov Ronen

At first, I said, ‘No thank you,’ ever so politely. However, I don’t like to disappoint my husband, so I decided to read it after all.

I couldn’t put it down. I literally read it in one sitting.

This is a seriously important book. I feel it’s sort of male version of The Diary of Anne Frank. It tells the story of one family’s experience surviving the Holocaust from the point of view of a ten-year old boy. It’s sort of cross between a creative memoir and historical fiction. As horrifying and terrifying as it is for me to read about this subject, this book is different. It has the innocence of the perspective of the young boy who is trying to make sense of the impossible, who doesn’t fully know or understand (as if anyone could) what was happening around him. About how they all miraculously survived with the help of brave friends and their mother’s courage, strength, and ingenuity.

Of course, he saw and experienced some terrible things, some of which are described in the book. In the end though, I was left with a hopeful feeling. It’s a story of how every single member of one family survived one of the worst ordeals in the history of the world.

NOTE: I read this book on Mother’s Day. I didn’t really think it was a natural choice for Mother’s Day reading…until I read it. The mother in this book is an amazing woman, and it’s largely due to her that they all made it through.

I have to say it again: THIS IS AN IMPORTANT BOOK. Read it.

After you read this book,  read my book! One Brave Thing




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