Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Accidental Anarchist: From the Diaries of Jacob Marateck by Bryna Kranzler Crosswalk Press ISBN 978-0-9845563-0-4

To read a diary provides an opportunity to look into the diarist’s soul. The Accidental Anarchist by Bryna Kranzler is the story of her grandfather, Jacob Marateck, and the book provides just that opportunity. In the Author’s Note Ms. Kranzler writes that “The objective was to create an entertaining and enlightening narrative without changing the story.” She succeeded.
Jacob Marateck and his family lived in Russian occupied Poland in the latter part of the 19th century. Most people were poor and his family was no exception. He could either go to school or be sent to learn a trade. He chose school and before his thirteenth birthday he decided studying was not for him. Without telling anyone that he was going home, he ran away from the yeshiva. Around the same time, a boy his age was found drowned. “Using good Polish logic, the authorities put the missing boy together with the dead boy, and wiped their hands of both cases with remarkable efficiency.” His parents were notified of his death and mourned him- not for the last time. Upon returning home his family told him he “needed to find a job”. He went to Warsaw and worked at unfulfilling jobs for about eight years. It was in Warsaw that he organized a strike that demanded daily work hours be reduced to twelve hours from twenty hours. The end result was not exactly what he wanted but he learned what he was capable of doing. In 1902 twenty-one year old Jacob, who is Jewish, was conscripted into the anti-Semitic Russian army. He survived two death sentences. Upon leaving the military he becomes part of the Polish revolutionary underground and received his third death sentence. The sentence is commuted to ten years in a Siberian prison from which he and his most interesting friend escape! Their three thousand mile journey home was nothing short of miraculous and full of surprises.
Jacob Marateck was a dignified man who was both courageous and honorable. Through the horrors of war, hunger and all the other hardships he endured his remarkable sense of humor was ever present. To read his story is a privilege. I highly recommend reading it.
I received this book for free through Review The Book and I give this review of my own free will.

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Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielsen Publisher: Voice

Heaven Is Here: An Incredible Story of Hope, Triumph and Everyday Joy by Stephanie Nielson is an unforgettable memoir written by an unforgettable woman.In an instant an airplane crash changed a life that she loved and was grateful for into a life full of unimaginable challenges. She had burns over 80 percent of her body and her husband, Christian, had burns over 40 percent of his body. Stephanie was in a coma for 4 months and it was not certain she would survive. Thankfully, she does survive and this is her story of courage and faith and love. She gives much credit to all who helped her and her family. However, it is her inner strength and her unconditional love of her family that motivates her to return to them and to become even stronger. She has written a moving memoir and it is a story of inspiration. She is a remarkable woman. I will never forget her story.
I received this book free of charge from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and I give this review willingly for free.

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DAWN COMES EARLY: A Last Chance Novel by Margaret Brownley Publisher: Thomas Nelson ISBN 978-1-59554-968-6 344 Pages

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley has an unusual opening. “Heiress Wanted: Looking for hardworking , professional woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona Territory. Must be single and prepared to remain so now and forevermore.” So read a notice placed in a newspaper by Eleanor Walker, the owner of the Last Chance Ranch. Dime novelist Kate Tenney’s latest book was banned in Boston. She needed to start a new life and she applies for the position. She has no intention of ever marrying so the requirement of staying single is not a problem. Kate arrives in the town of Cactus Patch in the Arizona Territory in 1895. Shortly after leaving the train she is taken hostage by the local criminal, Cactus Joe. Her escape leads to her meet Luke Adams who becomes a person of interest in her life. He could become an obstacle to her achieving her goal of being chosen as the heir.
The novel tells the story of many people. Eleanor Walker is an accomplished and strong woman. She is a person to be admired. Luke Adam’s aunt, Bessie manages to get hold of Kate’s banned novel and what transpires after she reads it is memorable. Even Cactus Joe turns out to be different than what meets the eye. All the characters are beautifully developed and for the most part, charismatic. Kate’s life on the ranch is full of trials and tribulations and are described in such a way that the reader is drawn into the story. Humor is not lacking in this book.
I enjoyed this book very much. It deals with love, trust,honor and sensitivity. The book can lead one to look inward and to perhaps re-examine what you find.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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