Thank you all who mentioned the Type/font selections. I wear glasses and read small print on my iPhone all the time but this cursive tiny print almost made me put the book aside. I checked to see how many letters there were and decided I could read it. I'm glad I did! However, I have many friends that I cannot recommend this book to in this current format - they could not read the print. Too bad - hope that gets corrected and fast!!!
As to the book / story - I loved it. I am not inclined to read stories of Nazi Germany as they depress me very much. I found this book surprisingly enlightened - sad, yet filled with hope. Maybe the Reba story helped me get through the awful realizations that yes, these things did happen! I knew Elsie survived and I wanted to know the rest of her story. Reba provided a believable way to get her story. It was fitting for Riki to be on the Border Patrol. Too much of a coincidence - maybe but in El Paso - believable.
I think the Reba part was a bit weaker then the Elsie part but look at the setting & time. Hard to make Reba's story as compelling. However I never once needed to skim through Reba's part. I've skimmed many other books using this technique. The letters between sisters was totally effective - showed more of life during those years.
I loved Elsie, her family, Tobias and the town folks coming to the bakery. Josef could be seen as a good man - he was tormented to death by his evil deeds. He was certainly not one-dimensional & hated by me, the reader. I saw more of a connection in story line with Josef & Riki than the women. Reba was just lost & struggling. Elsie knew her role & was doing it as best she could - her decision to give up Tobias in order to save herself & family was the only thing she could do. And yet, they would have all died if the Americans had not come at that moment. As many books do - this one also collapsed in the end - but kinda had to. The story was getting Elsie through the war years - and the telling of that story through Reba. The post war years, her marriage & getting El Paso were summed up a bit too tidy but author Sarah McCoy did such a wonderful job with the story she told.
I cried at the end - not so much at Elsie's funeral but for the ending of a good book with lots of emotional tugs of heart for the rose-colored glasses ending. I liked that. Yes, convenient loose ends being tied up but I did not feel manipulated by the author. She got her points across with a good story that allowed the reader to feel good about some of the resolutions. It was believable and ended well.
Change the font/type! my only real criticism !