Thursday, June 11, 2009

Enchanting Review: The Other Half of Life

Historical YA
ISBN# 978-0-375-85219-0
234 Pages
Hardcover--Available May 12, 2009

Rating: 4.5 Enchantments

THE OTHER HALF OF LIFE is based on the true story of a World War II voyage. Its May 1939 and the SS St. Francis is setting sail for Cuba and eventually the U.S. filled with Jewish refugees desperate for a new life in a new land. However, none of them could be prepared for the events that are about to take place that will change everyone’s lives forever.

Fifteen year old Thomas is traveling alone. His Jewish father has been imprisoned and his Christian mother has scraped together enough money for his passage. Alone and frightened, he finds himself befriended by a family on an upper deck and slowly a relationship begins to form between Thomas and fourteen year old Priska. Its obvious as you read the story that the author did a great job of researching the events on the SS St.

Francis as its very detailed oriented and the reader can fully picture what life must have been like for those on board. Thomas is a very sympathetic character, as is the family he becomes close to onboard. One of my favorite scenes takes place fairly early in the book when Thomas is invited to dine up in first class with Professor Affeldt and his family. All ready ill at ease, Thomas poses as a ‘cousin’ in order to join the family and is forced to deal with overhearing the waiter’s remarks about the passengers, witness the attention paid to the pretty Priska by the same waiter and share his story with the family that will soon become his friends. A very engrossing read, readers looking for a great historical read based on a real life event should definitely pick up THE OTHER HALF OF LIFE.

Kim Ablon Whitney has published two previous novels with Knopf. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts. To learn more about THE OTHER HALF OF LIFE, including an excerpt, visit the author’s website at

Enchanting Reviews
May 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment