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The Children of Willesden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival

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Based on the true story of her mother, Mona Golabek describes the inspirational story of Lisa Jura's escape from Nazi-controlled Austria to England on the famed Kindertransport. Jewish musical prodigy Lisa Jura has a wonderful life in Vienna. But when the Nazis start closing in on the city, life changes irreversibly. Although he has three daughters, Lisa's father is only Based on the true story of her mother, Mona Golabek describes the inspirational story of Lisa Jura's escape from Nazi-controlled Austria to England on the famed Kindertransport. Jewish musical prodigy Lisa Jura has a wonderful life in Vienna. But when the Nazis start closing in on the city, life changes irreversibly. Although he has three daughters, Lisa's father is only able to secure one berth on the Kindertransport. The family decides to send Lisa to London so that she may pursue her dreams of a career as a concert pianist. Separated from her beloved family, Lisa bravely endures the trip and a disastrous posting outside London before finding her way to the Willesden Lane Orphanage. It is in this orphanage that Lisa's story truly comes to life. Her music inspires the other orphanage children, and they, in turn, cheer her on in her efforts to make good on her promise to her family to realize her musical potential. Through hard work and sheer pluck, Lisa wins a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Academy. As she supports herself and studies, she makes a new life for herself and dreams of reconnecting with the family she was forced to leave behind. The resulting tale delivers a message of the power of music to uplift the human spirit and to grant the individual soul endurance, patience, and peace.


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Based on the true story of her mother, Mona Golabek describes the inspirational story of Lisa Jura's escape from Nazi-controlled Austria to England on the famed Kindertransport. Jewish musical prodigy Lisa Jura has a wonderful life in Vienna. But when the Nazis start closing in on the city, life changes irreversibly. Although he has three daughters, Lisa's father is only Based on the true story of her mother, Mona Golabek describes the inspirational story of Lisa Jura's escape from Nazi-controlled Austria to England on the famed Kindertransport. Jewish musical prodigy Lisa Jura has a wonderful life in Vienna. But when the Nazis start closing in on the city, life changes irreversibly. Although he has three daughters, Lisa's father is only able to secure one berth on the Kindertransport. The family decides to send Lisa to London so that she may pursue her dreams of a career as a concert pianist. Separated from her beloved family, Lisa bravely endures the trip and a disastrous posting outside London before finding her way to the Willesden Lane Orphanage. It is in this orphanage that Lisa's story truly comes to life. Her music inspires the other orphanage children, and they, in turn, cheer her on in her efforts to make good on her promise to her family to realize her musical potential. Through hard work and sheer pluck, Lisa wins a scholarship to study piano at the Royal Academy. As she supports herself and studies, she makes a new life for herself and dreams of reconnecting with the family she was forced to leave behind. The resulting tale delivers a message of the power of music to uplift the human spirit and to grant the individual soul endurance, patience, and peace.

30 review for The Children of Willesden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love, and Survival

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    Wow! Fabulous book! It was a page-turner. I never wanted to put it down and was always eager to resume reading. I loved the writing style. I loved the true story. It is one of the better coming of age stories I’ve read. It covers Lisa Jura from age 14 (with some of her memories of earlier years) to age 21, with some follow up at the end about her future. I appreciated that the main author’s note was at the beginning and not at the end of the book which is the most common place for it. I was glad Wow! Fabulous book! It was a page-turner. I never wanted to put it down and was always eager to resume reading. I loved the writing style. I loved the true story. It is one of the better coming of age stories I’ve read. It covers Lisa Jura from age 14 (with some of her memories of earlier years) to age 21, with some follow up at the end about her future. I appreciated that the main author’s note was at the beginning and not at the end of the book which is the most common place for it. I was glad to have the information she provided prior to reading the book. I was grateful to have information given at the end too, to learn the fates of certain people. I wanted to and wish I had made a point to listen to the musical pieces mentioned that Lisa played. I wanted to hear the music around the time I read about it! I would have but it was too hard to put down the book long enough to search for a playable piece of music online, either in full or even short portions. This book sat on my to read shelf for over a decade before I finally read it. I’m so glad that I finally read it. This is a wonderful daughter-mother tribute, and for more than one generation in this family. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I especially recommend it for people interested in coming of age stories, the Holocaust, England during WWII, the Kindertransport, and especially pianists, and other musicians and music appreciators, and anyone looking for a great friendship story, and an inspirational true story. I loved it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    I loved this book, the true story of Lisa Jura who came to England as part of the Kindertransport which rescued 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis. I saw Mona Golabek last year at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood performing "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," a one-woman play based on this book in which she portrays her mother. It was one of the most moving and beautiful performances that I have ever seen (including Golabek's stunning piano virtuosity). I was moved to tears several times. Here is I loved this book, the true story of Lisa Jura who came to England as part of the Kindertransport which rescued 10,000 Jewish children from the Nazis. I saw Mona Golabek last year at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood performing "The Pianist of Willesden Lane," a one-woman play based on this book in which she portrays her mother. It was one of the most moving and beautiful performances that I have ever seen (including Golabek's stunning piano virtuosity). I was moved to tears several times. Here is a five minute preview to her show, followed by a review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83fdh... https://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2018/0... This moving book is a tribute to the triumph of music, art, beauty and the resilient human spirit over evil and adversity. Brava, Lisa Jura and Mona Golabek!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Yibbie

    Twice now I’ve read this book. Unfortunately, it was too long ago for me to remember my thoughts from that first time. This is a hard book to read. The constant overwhelming fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and longing are hard to read about. It’s a book about children ripped from their parents who have banded together as a family to survive. Each child has their own grief to bear as they try to carry each other’s burdens as well. That is the setting for the story of Lisa’s hope, courage, and determ Twice now I’ve read this book. Unfortunately, it was too long ago for me to remember my thoughts from that first time. This is a hard book to read. The constant overwhelming fear, sorrow, uncertainty, and longing are hard to read about. It’s a book about children ripped from their parents who have banded together as a family to survive. Each child has their own grief to bear as they try to carry each other’s burdens as well. That is the setting for the story of Lisa’s hope, courage, and determination. Through her darkest days, she clings to the music her mother taught her to love. Slowly, it brings her even closer to her friends and into a new family and world. I would recommend it to everyone. We should all know what evil allowed to flourish will do, and we should also know what one small act of goodness can do for others. One thing that I do remember an impression from that first time, and now I am able to put it into words. The style and general vocabulary make me think it was geared toward young teens. Yet, the subject may be more suitable for older teens, and there were a few 'mild' curse words.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lorri

    The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love and Survival, by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. Lisa Jura was fourteen-years old and living in pre-World War II Vienna when her parents put her on a Kindertransport train leaving for England. Lisa was studying piano, and had hoped to become a concert pianist. Mona Golabek, her daughter, and author Lee Cohen bring us the story of Jura’s journey through the Kindertransport program, where she resided for six years at a The Children of Willesden Lane: Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love and Survival, by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. Lisa Jura was fourteen-years old and living in pre-World War II Vienna when her parents put her on a Kindertransport train leaving for England. Lisa was studying piano, and had hoped to become a concert pianist. Mona Golabek, her daughter, and author Lee Cohen bring us the story of Jura’s journey through the Kindertransport program, where she resided for six years at a hostel/orphanage located at 243 Willesden Lane, London. It is there that Jura forms long-lasting friendships with the other Kindertransport residents, and it is where her sister eventually comes to live, through the same program. The hostel is also where she and the other residents struggle daily, without knowing what has happened to their parents and other family members, while trying to maintain a sense of life and stabilty in their environment. Jura is determined to make something of herself and she works hard at a factory (forming strong bonds with the other workers), and returns after work to practice on the hostel piano, each day, with permission from the head matron, Mrs. Cohen. She strives towards becoming a concert pianist, and her goals and dreams begin to become realized through a scholarship she earned to attend The Royal Academy of Music. She was encouraged to apply for it by Mrs. Cohen, who realized Jura’s talents the first moment she (Cohen) heard Jura play the piano. The book is harsh and raw, no emotion left hidden, and it is a compelling book on so many levels. We journey with Jura through her difficulties in finding her place in a foreign world. We are at times emotionally drained, and other times extremely inspired by Jura through her strength and perseverance to find identity, and to adjust to her life without her closest friend…her mother. That Jura succeeded on all levels is a tribute to her willpower and devotion to her parents, and to her mother’s lasting words that kept her going through the harshest and most difficult of times, “Hold on to your music. It will be your best friend“. And, so it was. The Children of Willesden Lane is a heart-wrenching and beautifully written memoir and tribute, to Mona Golabek’s mother, and to Jura’s entire family. Jura’s parents were sent to Auschwitz and never heard from.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Griffin

    A story that needed to be told, the love of music overcoming the heinous specter of genocide. The audio version had piano music inserted at relevant points in the narrative.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Koren

    I had not heard of the Kindertransport, a train that took Jewish children from Austria and Germany, to London, to avoid the encroaching German armies of Hitler. The parents had to purchase the fare for the children to go and have a family arranged to take the child once they got there. So starts the story of Lisa Jurs, who was put on this train alone to go to London to avoid Hitler. But what happened to Lisa happened to many of the children. When they got to London the families that were suppose I had not heard of the Kindertransport, a train that took Jewish children from Austria and Germany, to London, to avoid the encroaching German armies of Hitler. The parents had to purchase the fare for the children to go and have a family arranged to take the child once they got there. So starts the story of Lisa Jurs, who was put on this train alone to go to London to avoid Hitler. But what happened to Lisa happened to many of the children. When they got to London the families that were suppose to take them no longer could take them. If there was no where for them to go they were taken to an orphanage called a hostel. The one Lisa ended up in was at Willesden Lane. From there I assumed the rest of the book would be about the atrocities endured at the orphanage, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was the opposite. The environment of the orphanage was postive and her love of the piano was nurtured. Even the garment factory Lisa worked at was a postive environment. I couldnt put this book down, as I so wanted to see if Lisa was reunited with her parents and sisters but I wont give that away. You will have to read the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia Hobbet

    This was a research-driven choice. I needed to learn more, as close to first-hand as possible, about the British Kindertransport on the eve of World War II, a truly heroic program that took in 10,000 Austrian and German kids, most of them Jewish, as Hitler was scooping up their families for shipment to the concentration camps. Most of the kids, needless to say, never saw their families again. I say 'heroic' because England opened its doors to refugees even as other western nations turned a blind This was a research-driven choice. I needed to learn more, as close to first-hand as possible, about the British Kindertransport on the eve of World War II, a truly heroic program that took in 10,000 Austrian and German kids, most of them Jewish, as Hitler was scooping up their families for shipment to the concentration camps. Most of the kids, needless to say, never saw their families again. I say 'heroic' because England opened its doors to refugees even as other western nations turned a blind eye to what was going on, and refused to admit them. The last Kindertransport train arrived in London the day after England declared war on Germany, as Londoners desperately shoved their own kids onto the trains in a mass evacuation to protect them from German bombs. One of the characters in this memoir, a little girl, arrived on that train, having left behind her home, her family, her country, her language, and all her worldly possessions except those she could cram into a single small suitcase. It's an iconic scene. As for the book itself, it's at some remove from its origin, unfortunately,and reads as a scrubbed-clean hagiography of its main subject, Lisa Jura Golabek. a piano prodigy from a Viennese family, who was lucky enough to get out of Austria, thanks to Kindertransport. After Lisa's death many decades later, her daughter put the book together with the help of a journalist. I don't envy that journalist, paid to galvanize the daughter's enshrined second-hand memories. She didn't succeed. But the naked facts of the time and place are enough to make this book worth reading. You don't hear much about the Kindertransport, and it should be a name we know as deeply and indelibly as 'The Holocaust'.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Linda Lipko

    This is an incredible book! It is the story of the author's family and in particular her mother Lisa Jura. Ten thousand Jewish children were transported from Europe to England in an attempt to rescue as many children as possible from the grips of the Nazi regime intent on destroyed this loving, peaceful culture. As she systematically observes the treatment of her family and neighbors, time ticks away as day by day more and more physical and emotional assaults occur. Fortunate enough to land a preci This is an incredible book! It is the story of the author's family and in particular her mother Lisa Jura. Ten thousand Jewish children were transported from Europe to England in an attempt to rescue as many children as possible from the grips of the Nazi regime intent on destroyed this loving, peaceful culture. As she systematically observes the treatment of her family and neighbors, time ticks away as day by day more and more physical and emotional assaults occur. Fortunate enough to land a precious seat on the Kindertransport, Lisa leaves behind all that is precious to her, except for the musical talent she holds in her heart. This is a story of courage, of fear, of defeat and of survival. It is a unique story of children robbed from parental comfort, but given the blessing of life. Arriving with little or no knowledge of foreign custom and language, teary, tired and worn children came to England seeking a home. Many gracious loving British people opened their homes and hearts. While Lisa's family was promised a home for her, when she arrived her uncle told her there was no room for her. She eventually became a child of a large home on Willesden Lane near London. Through Lisa's eyes we learn of the adjustment and the emotional support given. My review could not do justice to the beauty of the writing and the story. This book is first and foremost a tale that needs to be told again and again, and it is a wonderful homage to the brave people of England during WWII. Highly recommended! ( )

  9. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Mcphail-Lambert

    Enjoyed this book immensely. Stories that show how humans can overcome and triumph despite insurmountable odds make my heart sing with hope for humanity. This is a delightful read for any readers interested in the power to overcome as well as family, history, WWII, music, piano, strength, resiliency, hope, courage and oh so much more that is positive about humanity will enjoy this sweet read. Shed a few tears even as I knew the final outcome which shows the power of the story. Read, weep, and enjo Enjoyed this book immensely. Stories that show how humans can overcome and triumph despite insurmountable odds make my heart sing with hope for humanity. This is a delightful read for any readers interested in the power to overcome as well as family, history, WWII, music, piano, strength, resiliency, hope, courage and oh so much more that is positive about humanity will enjoy this sweet read. Shed a few tears even as I knew the final outcome which shows the power of the story. Read, weep, and enjoy human triumph!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deena

    This is a fascinating, nuanced, and beautifully written book. While it by no means represents the experiences of all the kindertransport children, it provides a detailed description of the journey of several. It also gives us a very different view of the British home front, adding a nice depth to the narrative. Despite being written by the protagonist's daughter, it doesn't pull any punches: Lisa's dedication to her music occasionally led to emotions and behaviors that could be read as selfishne This is a fascinating, nuanced, and beautifully written book. While it by no means represents the experiences of all the kindertransport children, it provides a detailed description of the journey of several. It also gives us a very different view of the British home front, adding a nice depth to the narrative. Despite being written by the protagonist's daughter, it doesn't pull any punches: Lisa's dedication to her music occasionally led to emotions and behaviors that could be read as selfishness or self-centeredness (as is often the case in the employment of such talent, and I say that without criticism or judgment), and the reader is shown that. But the most important aspect of Lisa's story, and the most telling about what the people in it endured during those years, is the inspiration that the people around her derived from that dedication and from the music itself. My only argument with this book, and it is a slight one stemming from my own background, is that it might have been a good choice to present it as a novelization (as Keneally did with Schindler). Not only is it derived from Lisa's memory, but then from Mona's as well. This is not to say that it is not credible, but my inner historian says that methodologically the conversations (and there are many) can in most cases only be "based on" or recreations of the type of thing that was probably said in such a circumstance. Further, the Author's Note points out that several characters are amalgamations of more than one person (again, as Keneally did in Schindler's List. That's not a bad thing; indeed, I tend to get irritated by a cast of too many characters to keep straight. But it might have made sense to categorize the "memoir" as a novelization. This is a quick read, and well worth it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline Masumian

    I believe this book may have been intended for young readers, but it holds great rewards for adults, as well. A "memoir" of Mona Golabek's mother's life during World War II, it's the story of a child prodigy, a young pianist named Lisa Jura, who is saved from Nazi-threatened Austria by the Kindertransport program in Europe in 1938-39. Under this program a select number of Jewish children were shipped from countries being invaded by Hitler to homes and hostels in England. There they were raised f I believe this book may have been intended for young readers, but it holds great rewards for adults, as well. A "memoir" of Mona Golabek's mother's life during World War II, it's the story of a child prodigy, a young pianist named Lisa Jura, who is saved from Nazi-threatened Austria by the Kindertransport program in Europe in 1938-39. Under this program a select number of Jewish children were shipped from countries being invaded by Hitler to homes and hostels in England. There they were raised for several years, never giving up hope of being reunited with their families. This story (I put "memoir" in quotes above, as it would seem impossible for the author to know all of what was going on in her mother's heart at that time) is one of hope and fortitude, as a young girl holds on to her music, finds a piano wherever possible to develop her talent, and manages to gain admittance to the Royal Academy of Music and eventually realize her dream of being a concert pianist. A remarkable book, it should be read by all young people today, educating them about World War II and what children and teens experienced at that time, as well as what it means to face adversity and survive. While not a great piece of literature, it tells an important story. It may be further enhanced by listening to the gorgeous piano music that is mentioned in the book. Note: I acquired this book as a result of seeing the one-woman show The Pianist of Willesden Lane, performed with tremendous skill by the author, Mona Golabek. I highly recommend it, if it comes to your town!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan Morris

    Interesting story of Lisa Jura, one of approximate 10,000 Jewish children rescued from Nazis thru Kindertransport, and her piano playing. Just can't give it 4 stars because something about the writing is too simplistic, or something I can't quite put my finger on. I've just read other WWII books whose writing rings more true to me. (Own) Interesting story of Lisa Jura, one of approximate 10,000 Jewish children rescued from Nazis thru Kindertransport, and her piano playing. Just can't give it 4 stars because something about the writing is too simplistic, or something I can't quite put my finger on. I've just read other WWII books whose writing rings more true to me. (Own)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ruth Hoekstra

    I am a piano teacher and bought this book, unread, as a gift to one of my high school students. Months later, I've had the chance to read it myself. What a marvelously inspirational and true story! Appropriate for anyone learning about World War II, and especially for musicians. Very well written! I am a piano teacher and bought this book, unread, as a gift to one of my high school students. Months later, I've had the chance to read it myself. What a marvelously inspirational and true story! Appropriate for anyone learning about World War II, and especially for musicians. Very well written!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dakota Hansen

    One of the best books I have ever read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emma Gregory

    I normally shy away from books regarding the holocaust as the visions of the monstrosities committed to human life stay with me for weeks afterwards. However this book was a sheer delight to read. Lisa Jura is sent to London from Vienna at the beginning of World War 2 with nothing but the music in her heart and soul that her mother has taught her. As Lisa survives the Blitz and becomes a famous concert pianist she learns to overcome the poverty of being a refugee and strives to make her families I normally shy away from books regarding the holocaust as the visions of the monstrosities committed to human life stay with me for weeks afterwards. However this book was a sheer delight to read. Lisa Jura is sent to London from Vienna at the beginning of World War 2 with nothing but the music in her heart and soul that her mother has taught her. As Lisa survives the Blitz and becomes a famous concert pianist she learns to overcome the poverty of being a refugee and strives to make her families one wish true "hold on to your music. It will be your best friend". This is a story of guts and determination from not only Lisa Jura but all the people who stood up against Hitler so that coming generations could live freely.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    My qualms about this book have nothing to do with the writing and the story. Both were excellent. I enjoyed learning more about a little known (to me) slice of history and I liked our spunky determined heroine. My qualms stem from the fact that this is NOT a memoir. It was written by the subject's daughter. I think I would have liked the book more if it had been a biography OR an historical fiction with a lovely tribute in the author's note. The misnomer is really hard for me to get over, I don' My qualms about this book have nothing to do with the writing and the story. Both were excellent. I enjoyed learning more about a little known (to me) slice of history and I liked our spunky determined heroine. My qualms stem from the fact that this is NOT a memoir. It was written by the subject's daughter. I think I would have liked the book more if it had been a biography OR an historical fiction with a lovely tribute in the author's note. The misnomer is really hard for me to get over, I don't like when things are defined incorrectly as I feel this was.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Melynda

    A lovely and moving account of a young 15-year old girl who was saved from the atrocities of Nazi-occupied Austria by her parent's heart-wrenching decision to send her to England via the Kindertransport. "The Children of Willesden Lane" is a testament of the power of music to heal a broken heart and the triumph of the human spirit. A lovely and moving account of a young 15-year old girl who was saved from the atrocities of Nazi-occupied Austria by her parent's heart-wrenching decision to send her to England via the Kindertransport. "The Children of Willesden Lane" is a testament of the power of music to heal a broken heart and the triumph of the human spirit.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tracie

    In my study of the Holocaust I have been moved to tears many times. But as a musician, this book touched my soul. No longer was I tying to imagine the unimaginable. Lisa Jura's story is one of dedication to a love of music and a fervent wish to honor her mother's admonishment, to make something of herself. In my study of the Holocaust I have been moved to tears many times. But as a musician, this book touched my soul. No longer was I tying to imagine the unimaginable. Lisa Jura's story is one of dedication to a love of music and a fervent wish to honor her mother's admonishment, to make something of herself.

  19. 5 out of 5

    momma.hailey

    What a special memoir. Throughout the book I found myself crying at the immensity of the situation. My daughter was gifted this book and we decided to read it together to discuss. We look forward to seeing the authors performance next month at our local theatre.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hillary Peters

    I read this book by English class. I really like this book, I don't know how to explain it...it's touchy. I read this book by English class. I really like this book, I don't know how to explain it...it's touchy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    { reneé }

    still five stars, possibly my favorite book ever. I really needed this reread to be able to fully love it the way I did the first time. please please read this!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joy H.

    Added 7/2/19 Published November 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published May 25th 2002) I posted the following online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wisdo... ==================================== I love the following quote about MUSIC. "Music will give you strength... It will be your best friend in life." ---Mona Golabek ABOVE IS FROM THE BOOK: _The Children of Willesden Lane_ , a book by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. (A memoir of music, love and survival) On VPR Radio in 2003, it stated Added 7/2/19 Published November 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published May 25th 2002) I posted the following online at https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wisdo... ==================================== I love the following quote about MUSIC. "Music will give you strength... It will be your best friend in life." ---Mona Golabek ABOVE IS FROM THE BOOK: _The Children of Willesden Lane_ , a book by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen. (A memoir of music, love and survival) On VPR Radio in 2003, it stated that the book "traces her family's passion for music back three generations. The story begins in the shadow of the Holocaust, as her grandmother sends her mother away from Austria, with a command to always keep music close to her heart. We also hear Mona Golabek play some of the music that was most important to her mother, including Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) and Edvard Grieg (1843-1907). The book was published November 1st 2003 by Grand Central Publishing (first published May 25th 2002) PS- I also remember the quote as: “Hold onto your music. It will be your best friend in life.” -----I originally heard it on VPR Radio on 5/9/03. The quote was included in the promo for 'Performance Today.' Pianist /author, Mona Golabek, said it was advice given by her grandmother to her mother. To sum up, I prefer the following version of the quote: ---“HOLD ONTO YOUR MUSIC. IT WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND IN LIFE."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Quinn

    This is a non-fiction book written by a woman outlining her mother's experiences as a Kindertransport child during WW2. Her mother (Lisa) and her family were Jews, living in Vienna before the War. Lisa is a gifted pianist and at age 14 is the daughter chosen to be sent to England for safety on the Kindertransport. Such pain and anguish for everyone in the family as they had to choose which of their 3 daughters they would send away, knowing it was very possible they would never see each other again This is a non-fiction book written by a woman outlining her mother's experiences as a Kindertransport child during WW2. Her mother (Lisa) and her family were Jews, living in Vienna before the War. Lisa is a gifted pianist and at age 14 is the daughter chosen to be sent to England for safety on the Kindertransport. Such pain and anguish for everyone in the family as they had to choose which of their 3 daughters they would send away, knowing it was very possible they would never see each other again. Lisa's story unfolds in England as she stays in a Jewish hostel for the duration of the war and for a few years afterwards. What is amazing to me is all of the detail the author had of her mother's life. I must admit, I am envious of that detail and wish I had had conversations with my own mother about her life. It is not a particularly well-written book, I didn't find, but the story is engrossing and it flows well. I'm glad I read it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Happy

    Marvelous! I would give it 10 stars if I could. I am a pianist, and found myself moved to tears at least 5 times in this book. Tears of joy and just being touched at the passion, friendships, determination and resilience of these people. This book is so emotional and lovely. This memior is suspenseful, where your heart will be in your throat and your stomach will drop down to your heels. It is heart warming and so perfectly encompassing the emotions of your heart that you will need a nap after t Marvelous! I would give it 10 stars if I could. I am a pianist, and found myself moved to tears at least 5 times in this book. Tears of joy and just being touched at the passion, friendships, determination and resilience of these people. This book is so emotional and lovely. This memior is suspenseful, where your heart will be in your throat and your stomach will drop down to your heels. It is heart warming and so perfectly encompassing the emotions of your heart that you will need a nap after the last page.

  25. 4 out of 5

    MaryLibrarianOH

    Audiobook for this is amazing. Great read for War that Saved My Life fans and those who liked the Echo audiobook (this audio has piano music). Based on a real piano prodigy, Jewish girl who escapes to England during WWII.

  26. 5 out of 5

    MacKenzie Russell

    I remember reading this book in 7th grade and loving it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Matthew McCall

    Really good and detailed.

  28. 5 out of 5

    muna ☽

    so compelling, colorful, and gripping

  29. 5 out of 5

    IvyBeth

    I listened to the audio version. A different viewpoint of the Holocaust era. I liked how the music referred to was sometimes played in the background.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Allison Sirovy

    I cried. The end.

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