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Here, in America, we rarely see a first hand account of the citizens who lived in Germany during World War II. This beautifully written text brings home, in vivid scenes and deliberate word choice, what this young child experienced in those days. From chapter one, the deft hand of Stoever takes us to the place only great writers can take us, a land of emotions instead of the written word with text like this:
It was the beginning of a terrible time for the girl wearing the heart necklace. During the darkness of that terrible war, when the little girl sat trembling in basements, as exploding bombs tore the air and death hunted for victims, the necklace felt her terror, and did its best to absorb her fright. When the girl’s fear became unbearable, she would take the necklace’s little gold heart in her mouth and bite down on it to stifle the screams surging in her throat. Patiently bearing the marks of her teeth, the heart soothed her hunger pangs when she was starving, and there was nothing to eat. After the war, during the country’s occupation by foreign troops, the little gold heart trembled with her when Russian soldiers prowled their icebound house, and she was so afraid that she almost stopped breathing.