book review

Book Review: For Better For Worse by Rachel Semo-Wool

Book synopsis:

Four generations in the life of one Jewish family, from Bulgaria to Palestine and from poverty to affluence.

For Better for Worse follows a Jewish Bulgarian family through two world wars, injury and loss, persecution and poverty, to success and renown. It takes the reader from the Bulgarian snow to the Mediterranean mud, across language, climate and cultural change, through the unbelievable escape from the European hell to a new start at a Jewish settlement in Palestine, the War of Independence and the establishment of the Israeli state.

˃˃˃ One family, two centuries, four generations: surviving, starting over, believing in the future!

For Better for Worse is a rare depiction of the thriving Jewish community that existed in Bulgaria for hundreds of years – one of the only Jewish communities in Europe not to be annihilated during the Holocaust, despite the country’s Fascist history.

The story is told by Rachel, a young Bulgarian girl who has personally witnessed the horrors of the 20th century and has become a true Israeli, and the narrator of a magnificent family saga. She was born in 1939 in Europe, which was about to burst into flames, a Jewish girl in a world that rejected her kind, and deported with her family from Sofia to a remote Bulgarian village. The story continues to follow the new generation of Israeli born children that managed to fulfill their forefathers’ commitment to high achievements and success. Sadly, only few of the older relatives are alive to witness the family legacy come true, as their grandchildren become outstanding citizens in their homeland.

My review:

As always, when I read autobiographies/biographies about WW2 and The Holocaust, my heart grows heavy because of the senseless killing of Jewish people. You never hear about whole families surviving The Holocaust….just one or two members.

Well, in this book, the entire family survived. Which was a miracle.

What the author did was take us back to her grandparents time and go forward (in 3rd person) until she was born. She traced roots, relatives and relationships with uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents. It was very fascinating.

But what happened after her birth (and then the book changes to 1st person) was equally fascinating. It tells of the family’s relocation to 3 different remote villages in Bulgaria to their train ride to Palestine. Which was told from her view.

How many stars will I give For Better For Worse: 5

Will I read it again? Yes

Will I reccomend it to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Elementary on up.

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Disclaimer: I received For Better For Worse by Rachel Semo-Wool for free from eBookPro for my honest review. All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone.

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