Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Book Review – In This Hospitable Land by Lynmar Brock, Jr.

  1. In This Hospitable Land
  2. Lynmar Brock, Jr.
  3. Publisher: AmazonEncore
  4. On Sale: April 26, 2011
  5. ISBN-10: 9781935597469
  6. Trade Paperback
  7. AmazonVine Program - ARC – Uncorrected Proof
  8. 414 pages


In This Hospitable Land is based on the factual account of a Jewish family forced from their home in Belgium during the Nazi invasion of Europe in World War II. Members of the Severin family ultimately settled in the Cevennes area of rural southern France only to find themselves caught between occupied German soldiers, suspicious townsfolk, and the local pro-Nazi Vichy government. The family, trapped in the middle of this chaos, is forced to depend upon already wary neighbors to hide them from possible capture by the Nazis. It is a remarkable story of perseverance, paranoia, brotherhood, and survival.

Thoughtfully researched and carefully studied In This Hospitable Land is an informative work of historical fiction but unfortunately suffers from a number of conspicuous weaknesses and inconsistencies. It is more than evident that the author has supplemented actual conversations with additional exposition which, in the main, is overformal and wooden and, at times, hard to follow and often illogical. The style is awkward and the explanations and details drone on in places and I found myself drifting away from the story during some of the longer explanations.

Fortunately, the strong suit of this novel lies in its plot and the heart-rending story of suffering and survival and I recommend it for fans of historical or war fiction and those wishing to educate themselves concerning this little-known account of the Holocaust. No matter the shortcomings In This Hospitable Land deserves high praise for its subject matter. Stories like this warrant publication because the message they contain is always more important than the mechanics used to create them. Otherwise we never would have heard the names Elie and Shlomo Wiesel, Oscar and Emilie Schindler, Art and Vladek Spiegelman, or Tuvia and Zus Bielski and learned of their exceptional stories. Without them we might never have known the suffering endured or the strength of heart our fellow men experienced during those chaotic times. With many of the key figures that lived through these times reaching the end of their lives we risk losing these stories forever. They are integral to our growth as a race and should not be lost to obscurity.

3 ½ out of 5 stars

  1. The Alternative
  2. Southeast Wisconsin

Additional Reading:

Art Spiegelman Wiki site

Art Spiegelman Maus site

Oskar Schindler Wiki site

Schindler’s List movie at IMDB

Schindler Article The first magazine article about Schindler (written 1949 unpublished until 1994)

Elie Wiesel Wiki site

Elie Wiesel Book Night

Tuvia and Zus Bielski (The Bielski Partisans) Wiki site

Defiance movie at IMDB

P.S. For five informative reviews concerning excellent Holocaust literature please see my post Book Reviews - Essential World War II Stories from a July 2009 post.


1 comment:

Hopewell said...

I agree entirely with your review--the dialogue is unforgivable. So is the treatment of the girl's molestation. Here is my review http://hopewellmomschoolreborn.blogspot.com/2011/07/in-this-hospitable-land.html