REVIEW: #AusYABloggers Blog Tour, Hadamar - The House of Shudders by Jason K. Foster
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I was lucky enough to be selected to be part of yet another #AusYABloggers blog tour. I would love to give a big thank you to Aus YA Bloggers and Big Sky Publishing for sending me a copy of this book.
Germany is ruled by Hitler’s barbaric policies of racial cleansing. Ingrid Marchand’s only sin was to be born black.
Horrifying institutions like Hadamar are where the undesirables – including the mentally and physically disabled and children – are systematically tortured, gassed and executed. It is where Ingrid is humiliated and brutalised and will encounter a depth of hatred the world has never seen before.
On the brink of starvation, can Ingrid survive the horrors of her incarceration and help bring her tormentors to justice?
Hadamar is a gripping tale of survival in a world of hatred, horror and insanity.
A goal of mine this year has been to broaden the range of genres I read. A genre that always interested me but I never really connected with was that of historical fiction, especially books that are based around the Holocaust. Hadamar has changed that for me.
I knew Hadamar would not be an easy read. But, in saying that, it isn’t meant to be. Hadamar was thrilling and disturbing and wonderful. Yes, it is confronting and jarring but it is written in a way that while you can fully grasp what happened it isn’t particularly detailed or explicit. It does deal with topics such as sexual assault, abuse and discrimination but that’s what would have happened at the time and I think the book deals with it in a manner that is still appropriate for people my age. The barbarity of such a story is not lost on me and I understand that this book is not something that I would recommend to younger YA readers.
The emotion portrayed in this book is so strong and so beautiful. When Ingrid was forced to suffer I honestly wanted to cry because it was just so horrific, when she succeeded it made me so happy. This book affected me in such profound ways and I’m sure it has made me into a better person.
I can’t imagine what life was like for Ingrid. Her resilience was so admirable and I understand that her story is the story of many who suffered so much at the hands of Hitler’s policies. After reading this book, I chose to do some research into Hadamar, the haunting hospital for the mentally ill and physically disabled. Up to 25,000 people died in Hadamar alone and many were admitted due only to the colour of their skin. In this darkness, there is hope for Ingrid which comes in the form of loving another. She begins to flourish and becomes somewhat of a hero herself.
There is a lot to process for reader in this book. I felt that the prologue and epilogue did a lot for understanding Ingrid’s past and the use of German terms provided authenticity, which are described in a glossary at the end. I think an additional notes section outlining the characters and any historical details would have assisted readers in understanding the accuracy of the war.
Hadamar inspires knowledge, power and embracing those who are different.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jason Foster is an author, poet, freelance journalist and high school teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communications) and Graduate Diploma in Teaching from WSU as well as a Master of Arts (History) from Macquarie University and a Diploma in Spanish from Macquarie University.
Jason is widely travelled having spent time in five continents and over fifty countries. He has taught in Australia, the United Kingdom, Spain and Argentina; experiences that bring a distinct range and unique world view to his writing.
He has published ten books in the true crime, history and young adult genres. He has also been published the world over with his work appearing in a range of mediums from History magazines in the United States, Australian travel magazines and Poetry Anthologies in the United Kingdom.
Overall, this book was emotional and scary and just amazing. I don’t think I can adeptly describe how it made me feel. I rate it 4.6/5, it was fantastic.
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