on July 5, 2013 :
Short story about second world war survivor; listed as prize winning, but I wasn't blown away by it.
Though the story in itself isn't bad, it's well written and has a good flow, I just found the story rather confusing. To me, it never really became clear what happened; was she abused? did the guard just let her go? The latter option seems highy unlikely, since he would have gotten in trouble for that, but it is what seems to have happened.
I also found it confusing that the story seems to describe gass chambers in the fragments from the woman's memory. The camp the woman visits is Bergen-Belsen, which was a holding camp, not a destruction camp, and it didn't have any gass chambers. So, if she was held in Bergen-Belsen, she can't have this memory. There are also other points in the story which just don't seem to match with historical fact.
It just feels a lot like the author wanted to write about the second world war, put in the common horror stories about death camps and never bothered to check his facts, which, personally, I find rather annoying, and for me makes the story rather odd, since the woman's memories just don't make sense.
Also, Hamburg looks nothing like New York.
(review of free book)