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on April 20, 2013
I purchased this book after talking to someone at a car dealership!! She had told me about it and I thought it sounded interesting. It was better than I had thought it would be. This is a first hand account from a surviver. Some of the areas were glossed over but enough detail was given to get a good picture of what was happening and what these people lived through.
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on January 15, 2012
I've been trying to give this book 2 stars for the last year, but that doesn't seem to work, so I'm dropping it to 1 star. There are better books to read about WWII and/or Ravensbruck experiences. I wrote this before, but got slammed because I think I used the wrong words. Nonetheless, for those of you who feel the need to defend the book, I am not attacking it, I am reviewing it.

I have read a good number of MEMOIRS from a number of different perspectives written by people from all different backgrounds- Jewish, Christian, German, Polish, Hungarian, etc. Some were good, some not so good. After reading excellent accounts like The Hiding Place and Rena's Promise, I found the constant comparison in The Seamstress between Ms. Tuvel's plight and the conditions of those around her to be tiring and at times offensive, especially to those of us who have had parents or grandparents in German-occupied Europe in WWII. I understand this is a memoir written from an individual perspective; I am reviewing the book from MY perspective and it was my least favorite on a long list of WWII memoirs that I have read.
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on July 21, 2014
If your looking for a great nonfiction book this is it! This will be the third time that I've read it. It's very well written and holds your attention.

If you can't stomach scenes of death and cutting off frostbitten toes I would advise you not to read this.
The first time I read this book was the summer I was going into 8th grade. My mother was concerned that I was reading too much made up stuff for my own good, so she challenged me to read a nonfiction book. Of course I doubted her that any work of nonfiction could be as intriguing as what I had been reading (mostly fantasy books); this book definitely captured my interest. And 5 years later here I am buying it. I am so glad that I decided to give it a try!
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on April 8, 2013
AFTER THE FIRST PAGE OF SEAMSTRESS, "I THOUGHT THS HAS TO BE A NOVEL, IT IS SO WELL WRITTEN." I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN. I LEARNED A LOT ABOUT BEING JEWISH IN ROMANIA...ABOUT THE REAL STORY, FROM THE EYES OF A SURPRISINGLY CALM SARA TRUVEL....I WAS SO EVERWHLEMED BY WHAT WAS DONE TO THESE YOUNG WOMEN. I UNDERSTAND WHY THE TRUTH NEEDS TO BE KEPT ALIVE. THIS KIND OF THING COULD EASILY HAPPEN AGAIN,WITHOUT US NOTICNG . I RECOMMEND EVERYONE READ THIS ACCOUNT OF SARA'S. IT IS TRULY A STORY OF STRENGTH AND LEADERSHIP. READ IT NOW!.
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on June 7, 2000
I received this book as a graduation book after a recommendation from a friend...I could not put the book down. It flows easily so that it always holds your interest, and it is simply compelling. I highly recommend this book.
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on April 11, 2010
Seren's memories, as published by her daughter in THE SEAMSTRESS, are totally engrossing in part because of her voice & in part because of the scope of her journey from between the wars in Transylvania Romania to post-WWII '50s America with a detour in between that killed 19 out of 20 Jewish women & tried even the soul of this fierce & feisty voyager.

Born to a Jewish lumber mill manager & his second wife, Seren had a set of half-brothers & sisters quite a bit older & then siblings from her mother. Because of her father's work, they lived in rural valleys where each spring, village louts would start a pogrom: rioting that specifically destroyed Jewish life & property. These happened for generations all over Europe due to the Easter time rantings of priests & pastors.

As Seren studied at school she dreamed of going on to college in far away Bucharest. Defying her father she did just that except her path veered off into a sewing school where she enjoyed a giddy coming of age among fellow workers & students, making friends & deciding never to marry... until in her mid-20s, the world erupted again. This time with the ominous intention of one people eliminating anyone else they deemed tainted.

Seren was marked for Hitler's Jewish Solution & the bulk of her memories deals with how & where she was herded, what happened to her family & friends, what she learnt to survive & how she did it.

Suspend all your judgments & expectations otherwise you'll miss the many lessons THE SEAMSTRESS has to teach.

More about females surviving male wars: THOSE WHO SAVE US: A novel by Jenna Blum; MY ENEMY'S CRADLE: A novel by Sara Young; LAUGHTER WASN'T RATIONED: A Personal Journey Through Germany's World Wars and Post War Years by Dorothea von Schwanenflugel Lawson.
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on August 19, 2011
This is a super great account of one woman's experience and a tale of love and family. The gift of love was shared and this family tried to stay together through many challenges.
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on January 16, 2012
I enjoyed this read, although at times it was difficult to read what Sara and the other girls went through. Sara left quite the legacy--the image of a strong survivor who perservered and succeeded in life despite a horrific past!
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on October 2, 2014
It had Romanian roots and since I had a close friend from Romania, it hit me more personally. She would talk of her grandfather and what he went through. This book by Sara Bernstein is written very well and it's hard to put down sometimes. The story is interwoven with vivid imagery, great storytelling, and an ending that will stay with you for a long time.
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on January 11, 2014
Every once in a while I read a book that is a profound reminder of resilience in the face of inhumanity. The Seamstress is one of those books. I first heard it on Audible, where it was picked as the best book of 2013. I then bought 2 copies -- one to give to a friend's granddaughter for her Bat Mitzvah and another for a friend of mine who tends to minimize the Holocaust due to her anti-semitic Catholic upbringing. Each of these individuals reacted strongly -- our Bat Mitzvah girl found it inspiring and reaffirming. Our Holocaust skeptic told me that she had never realized what happened to Jews in the 1930's and 1940's who were not in camps but in ghettos or hidden.

We need more books like this. The number of camp survivors dwindles, and as that happens we risk not remembering. The author is writing about her mother, who is no longer living. Oh, how I wish I had met Bernstein's mother.
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