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Far Above Rubies Paperback – April 7, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 203 pages
  • Publisher: Martin and Lawrence (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977389820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977389827
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,433,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cynthia Polansky writes in a variety of genres and, just to confuse things, under two different names. Traditionally, her fiction bears the Cynthia Polansky byline, while her nonfiction dog books are written as Cynthia P. Gallagher (separate Author Central page).

Cindy is also an experienced writing tutor who spent seven years at the United States Naval Academy, waging war on bad grammar, one midshipman at a time. She absolutely loved working with these exceptional students who remain polite and respectful long past the time they are mandated to do so.

CINDY IN A NUTSHELL:

Guilty Pleasures: chocolate eclairs and The Bachelor (not necessarily together)

Pastimes: Crossword puzzles, knitting, weight lifting

Obsessions: Animals in general and dogs in particular, anything Irish, Kate and William

Favorite Color: Grey

Favorite Smell: puppy fur

Favorite Band: The Corrs

Customer Reviews

What a beautiful, inspiring story.
Debra I. Stevens
It is based on a true story and after reading this book I wanted to be able to hug Tante Soof.
Barbara Ehrentreu
This book brings to life the horror of inhumanity in the concentration camps.
Prindaville

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Rosen on August 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a compelling and riveting novel about life before, during, and after internment at Auschwitz. Although written as a work of fiction, it is soundly grounded in at least three truths: It is based on a brave and heroic Dutch woman who actually existed; it is well researched and, therefore, contains excrutiatingly factual detailed information about life in the infamous concentration camp, Auschwitz, including even the inhumane deportation by train ride to the site; Like most exceptional fiction in contains truths that transcend the story itself and carry the brand of universality, revealing both the depths of evil to which humans can plummet and the indominatable spirit which can enable a person to rise above and survive through the most adverse of circumstances imaginable.

The writer's style tends to be sparse and Spartan, particularly when focusing on the deportation and concntration camp experiences. I don't know whether this reflects the customary voice of the author's fiction or whether it was strategically adopted to fit the narrative of this story. I suspect the latter. Be that as it may, the style is judiciously adapted to the story at hand. Any other approach would have have been contaminated by romantic commercialism.

Sofie Rijnfeld, the heroic woman who existed in real life and is depicted in this story, is not a saint. When she voluntarily leaves with her six step-daughters for deportation she believes she is simply being sent to a "labor camp," never envisioning the horrors ahead. Yet when she enounters the atrocities that abound at Auschwitz, she rises to the occasion and becomes the bulwark of moral support for her step-daughters, despite her own suffering.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jon Coile on December 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
We all know the Holocaust was an unbelievable act of barbarianism, but how did the people of Europe sit back and let it happen? In Far Above Rubies, the facinating early story of the implementation of the Holocaust in occupied Holland is a window into a seldom told story of our recent world history.

The story in Auschwitz is chilling, but made even more so by the seemingly random events that can mean life or death. The list posted in the dining hall of the next day's deportees, for example. Cindy Polansky's skill at describing these seemingly trival events, and their deadly import, is chilling.

When the war ended, what happened next. Surprisingly, Polansky reveals the truth that not all Jews had been rounded up. Some, in rural parts of Holland, had made it through the war in their own homes with comparative ease. How the concentration camp survivors re-entered life after the war is a fascinating second story that is also seldom written.

This is a great book, and very enlightening for its description of both the pre- and post-war views of Jewish life in Europe. Highly recommended.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary and Larry Mild on April 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
FAR ABOVE RUBIES is a powerful, chilling true story. Cynthia Polansky re-creates "Tante Soof," the incredible Sofie Rijnfeld, who survived the ordeals of Nazi imprisonment at Auschwitz. The author's narrative skill brings us to tears of admiration, rather than just the usual tears of sadness, hopelessness, and dim remembrance that accompany many holocaust stories. Her characterizations are both gripping and real. And what a plot! Who ever heard of anyone voluntarily going to a concentration camp? But that's what Sofie did. Her six beloved stepdaughters were called up for deportation, wrenched from their comfortable Amsterdam home. But Sofie would not let them face the Nazi horrors alone. Her heroic efforts to protect them live on in this memorable novel. Cynthia Polansky's rubies truly do sparkle.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Rose on March 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
All the characters have such beautiful souls. Emotionally this is a deep spiritually introspective book. Polansky was really worth waiting for. I both cried and was uplifted during my entire read. Far Above Rubies is such a sad moving story about Dutch Jews, but the main character will be my role model and inspiration for ever. I can't say enough good things about this wonderful book that was such a pleasure to read. Tom Rose, PhD, Professor and board member, Temple Beth Shalom, Arnold, Md.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
After reading this book, my eyes hurt from crying and I felt numb. At one point in the middle of the book, I almost questioned how one could pass on a book with such horrific detail. However after finishing this book, I was thankful to have read such a remarkable story about someone so courageous and positive. We, as readers, can only hope to strengthen our own spirit and courage through the inspiration of 'Tante Soof'.
The book should definitely be included in any jewish education 'required reading' lists. Difficult to endure, but necessary to remember. A good reading for Yom Kippur and Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marlin Keesler on March 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I recently read The Diary of Anne Frank with my 14 year old daughter. Anne's story leaves one with many questions about the horrors of WWII and the Holocaust. There is no better book that complements Anne Frank's story and takes one inside the terrible world of this genocide. From a teen-agers perspective Far Above Rubies is the story that brings an appreciation as to just how bad life was for the Jews. Telling your child war is bad simply does not compare to sharing the stories and experiences people went through. Far Above Rubies is much more than a story; it is a vivid education. This is a must read!
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