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War on the Margins Paperback – August 26, 2010
A girl with loyalty to both sides in a war—and the dangerous opportunity to save lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
Blending memoranda, epistolary and journal-style narrative, Libby Cone shows us how the sensitivities of people trying to cope with their outer and the inner world, either rise to the occassion or fight their personal arcs. From wrestling and slaughtering a pig in a bathtub to having to visit foreign code on your former neighbors, we see a different aspect of this terrible conflict in human terms. This isn't your newsreel. This is watching people who live in History's margin - marginalized people, if you will, struggling to stay true and loyal to their ideals, or at least minimizing the compromise. When I first picked up this book I thought I would be reading about some footnote in history, but as it turns out, Libby Cone has introduced me to the headlines of real people who lived through the confict. Impressive.
Focused primarily on Jersey Island, this historical-fiction novel follows a young Jewish woman, Marlene Zimmer, throughout the war years of occupation. We struggle with her as this heretofore timid and nervous young woman--and what innocent wouldn't be under these grim circumstances?--gathers strength and maturity to aid two famous French women in their Resistance efforts against the occupiers.
The French women, based on real individuals, are a pair of superb tricksters--especially during the war years. The two women, who serve as Marlene's mentors, are an integral part of the story. As such, they apply numerous, largely effective acts of Resistance against a relentless and remorseless enemy. How they do so is woven throughout the story, as you will learn, but which I've not included in this review to avoid introducing spoilers.
Even though experiencing virtual starvation and beset by fear, Marlene continues to develop an inner strength to try to help others and herself in their constant battle against the odds of survival.
I learned a lot of history and geography from reading this interesting book. and it has prompted me to research the Channel Islands of England even as they stand today.
The remarkable account of the occupation is a must-read for anyone who wishes to get a flavor of the nazi mind-set, and how it affected the lives, loves and behavior of the islanders.
Perhaps the most frightening aspect of the occupation was just how gradually the Nazis tightened the noose around the island people. Impersonal, matter-of-fact bulletins from the German commander politely instructed Jews - anyone with slight Jewish antecedents - to report to the town hall to register their names. All quite innocent, and gradually the demands increase. Register any business interests, your nationality, wear identification, have a red mark on your file. It slowly builds up to the true horrors in store for those the Germans regarded as sub-human.
In the middle of this, how did the islands cope? How did life continue?
Libby Cone has produced a compelling account of just that. She takes you back to that dreadful time, when Hitler ruled Europe, and shows how ordinary people were caught up in the nazi horror. The gradual creeping of the restrictions on liberty have a resonance today.
Yet amid the harrow, there is love and humanity. To really understand how WW11 changed lives forever, read this book
Their daily struggle, in that little back corner of World War II, became riveting.
A solid read, through and through.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book was intriguing from a historical point of view; it explores an area I’ve not seen done much in historical fiction. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sarah L. Gruwell
This book was a real eye-opener for me, while I knew that the Germans had occupied the Channel Islands during WWII, I had no idea that life was so difficult for the inhabitants,... Read morePublished on July 17, 2010 by Mrs. C. Colbert
When France fell to the Nazis during WWII, the Channel Islands fell as well, despite the fact that they were a part of the British Commonwealth. Read morePublished on July 1, 2009 by Literate Housewife
In using the British Channel Islands as her setting, Libby Cone provides us with an interesting microcosm of the Nazi European occupation during World War II. Read morePublished on December 3, 2008 by Jeffry S Hepple
"War on the Margins" will make you painfully aware of the harsh reality Jewish citizens were subjected to during one of the most tragic events in recent history - WWII and the... Read morePublished on October 22, 2008 by L. Langston
If you liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I didn't particularly care for it), you might like War on the Margins, which also tells the story of the German... Read morePublished on October 11, 2008 by G. Dawson
The book does a very nice job of showing the moral complexity of life under occupation. All of the rules of civilized society are gone and those (on the margins of society) are... Read morePublished on June 22, 2008 by Rydal book reader
World War Two will likely be an endless source of interesting stories for as long as memory of the twentieth century survives. Read morePublished on June 4, 2008 by Michael R. Hicks