Book Review: I’m Not From Around Here by Ishai Klinowsky

Title: I’m Not From Around Here

Author: Ishai Klinowsky

Genre: Memoir, Hisotrical

Rating: 4,5 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

What could have led to an encounter between such an unsuitable couple as my parents?

This book is a fascinating life diary, in which reality surpasses all imagination. It takes place against the backdrop of the Holocaust, the fate of the refugees at the end of the war, and the rebirth of the new Israel.

The heroes of the plot are unusual, an antithesis of the weak and submissive Jew, sweeping the reader into a whirlwind of events and countless breathtaking adventures.

How does a weak and very naive girl survive for three years in a deadly forced labor camp where others could not survive for more than a few months?

Lola, the mother, whom we encounter as an innocent girl, sweeps the reader close to the hell of the monstrous and notorious labor camp, Ludwigsdorf.

How does an “antithesis Jew” look to the submissive Jew?

Staszek, the father, a street fighter and a tough and hard-working man from Warsaw, is hot-tempered, cunning, and daring. His gypsy appearance and colorful figure lead many women to fall easily into his arms.

What does a spoiled “mother’s son” and “father’s daughter” feel when they see their family collapsing?

From the eyes of an eight-year-old boy, the writer describes a stormy childhood with many heartrending vicissitudes: parents who disappear overnight, living with strangers, being trapped in a tough orphanage … and more…

Written in flowing and sensitive language, the story presents an accurate balance between a personal and family story and the story of a people.

I’m Not From Around Here is a poignant, strong memoir about the life of one family set against the backdrop of the Holocaust, following the life of refugees trying to find a new home.

The story is told from the point of view of an eight-year-old boy who details not just his own life, but also that of his parents. Of his mother, a seemingly frail woman, who somehow survived a terrible labor camp, Ludwigsdorf.

The characters are easy to relate to, and the ordeals they go through, are simply horrible. They show strength and courage through it all, and as such, this is an inspiring memoir about being a survivor, about never giving up, and about somehow retaining a sense of never really belonging anywhere.

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