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The Puzzle King Hardcover – August 25, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Talk about seamless. Carter has woven a tapestry of real and imagined people and events so skillfully that there are no loose strands. Her book contains all the drama, color and dreams of the best stories---but also the drumbeat of history and the throbbing pulse of real life. Highly recommended!
The larger point of the book was the history lesson and the fact that people were saved and I understand that. It would have made a great non-fiction. I'm wouldn't read it again, but I'm glad I now know about the story.
This is a subtle yet powerful book, with likable characters who respoect one another and rarely shout--even when, say, their sister may be endangering her own life. The portrayal of Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s, when the seeds of Nazism are taking root, is especially poignant, and give a reader honest answers to the question of "why didn't every Jew leave?"
It is also an it-stinks-to-be-a-jew-in-Germany-in-1936 book, which I thought had already been covered pretty well-- but this book is so much more than that. The characters aren't sketches of fearful jews, under the gun. Some of them are downright ambivalent about leaving Germany. The conflict between 1930s fear and the joys of every day life are captured well. I can't wait to look up other books by this author...
I ADORED this book. Those of you that read by review of Songbird Under A German Moon know that I unfortunately sort of missed out on World War II history. This is one of the many reasons for which I absolutely adore books that give me a glimpse of what it was like. In Betsy Carter's gripping tale of love and family and heartache, that is exactly what she does. She brings Jewish characters to life in the times leading up to war. She breathes life into faceless characters who were previously no more than a name. She brings Judaism in America and Germany alive in a time when the focus was on death.
Betsy Carter did an amazing job of showing what it must have been like to be a Jewish living in America at the time, trying to remember their roots and their families back in Europe but at the same time trying to become American and to take advantage of the opportunities that being American brought to them. How does one balance such things in a such a time, when these interests are clearly conflicting? It is clear that extensive research went into the writing of this book, and it seems like she covered all of the bases. Both the story and the style were engaging, and I found that I learned a lot from a book that, ultimately, I found I couldn't put down.
Simon Phelps and Flora Grossman are two European born Jewish Americans, and when they meet, it seems as if things are meant to be. The love and history and life they share is nothing short of beautiful. These two people really existed, and Simon Phelps really was the puzzle king, but after that there is no way of knowing their true stories. I like to believe that there story is at least something like the story of these two amazingly strong, caring people in the book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved this book. Ms. Carter wrote a wonderful story,. The characters were realistic, very human and they all kept my attention. Read morePublished 10 months ago by BUBS
This was one of the best books I've read in years. Ms. Carter's language is rich in visual metaphor, and the plot is fascinating from beginning to end. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Glenda Lynne
Changed my mind about reading this author's works and got rid of the book shortly after I received it. No good for me.Published on December 31, 2013 by Dianne Thyret
I couldn't stop reading. I bought it on a Sunday morning and finished it Monday after work. The characters jumped out at you on every page.Published on February 18, 2013 by Avid Reader
This was a good historical fiction read. It was loosely based on the author's ancestor. I found it very enjoyable.Published on November 5, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Wonderful characters, really brought the various eras to life. I wish there were a plot but am still glad I read it.Published on October 5, 2012 by Peter Krogh
"The Puzzle King" is a novel based on factual events that occurred within a family prior to World War II. Read morePublished on December 27, 2011 by Miriam Brumer
SPOILER ALERT...Really enjoyed this book and its characters. Then it ended. Just like that. And things just seemed to go too smoothly for Flora at the consul's office, which made... Read morePublished on July 31, 2011 by mytwocents