Thursday 25 November 2021

Audio: They went left by Monica Hesse

Narrated by: Caitlin Davies

Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins

Release date: 04-08-20

Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers


YA Histoical fiction

The author explained at the end that so many books is about the war and the end, but not what happens after the end. And she is right, I haven't read many like this that is all about afterwards.

So yes, nothing about the war, nothing about her time in the ghetto or concentration camp. The war is long over when Zofia is released from hospital. She is really messed up and had no idea what really happened before the concentration camp, or after. I have rarely seen a book like this, just so out of it, and of course she would be. But she is trying to put her life together, she goes back to Poland, she goes back to Germany to find her brother.

Most of the book takes place in a refuge/replacement camp. She is trying to find her brother, like so many others. She meets new friends, she meets a man. Pieces of memory shows itself to be made up, erased or just hidden so well behind her trauma. A few things surprised even me.

A good book. Sad, but that is understandable. I did not understand the title either before it was explained, she went right, so many others were taken left and killed.

Good narration, there is music too, and the tone she sets during that time is so sad and emotional. Those are the hard bits

Germany, 1945. The soldiers who liberated the Gross-Rosen concentration camp said the war was over, but nothing feels over to eighteen-year-old Zofia Lederman. Her body has barely begun to heal; her mind feels broken. And her life is completely shattered: Three years ago, she and her younger brother, Abek, were the only members of their family to be sent to the right, away from the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Everyone else--her parents, her grandmother, radiant Aunt Maja--they went left.

Zofia's last words to her brother were a promise: Abek to Zofia, A to Z. When I find you again, we will fill our alphabet. Now her journey to fulfill that vow takes her through Poland and Germany, and into a displaced persons camp where everyone she meets is trying to piece together a future from a painful past: Miriam, desperately searching for the twin she was separated from after they survived medical experimentation. Breine, a former heiress, who now longs only for a simple wedding with her new fianc�. And Josef, who guards his past behind a wall of secrets, and is beautiful and strange and magnetic all at once.But the deeper Zofia digs, the more impossible her search seems. How can she find one boy in a sea of the missing? In the rubble of a broken continent, Zofia must delve into a mystery whose answers could break her--or help her rebuild her world.


  1. This sounds heartbreaking! I'm sure I'd be a mess reading this.

  2. Yes, so important to tell the stories of what happened after the war. So many displaced and with so much to deal with.

    1. SO many with no where to go, back home and meet those who turned their back on them?

  3. Wow... sounds like a tough read. But interesting concept - about the after. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Nothing about the in between, other than saying some went left, and that she think she saw her brother at times and tidbits like that.

  4. I'm surprised they don't add more music or sound effects!



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