>Esther Hautzig – The Endless Steppe


Esther, author and main character in The Endless Steppe, was a young girl born to a well off Jewish family in Poland.  Her world gets turned upside down when she, along with her family, get deported to Siberia during WWII.  Most of her belongings are left behind or eventually sold off for food.

Esther’s Russian is poor and initially finds it hard to fit in her new school.  Even her mother’s usual optimism starts to dwindle as the family spends more and more time in Siberia.  After several years of hardship and not having anything of worth, the war finally ends and she and her family have an opportunity to return home.  Only she is considering staying as she started to think of Siberia as home.

The Endless Steppe is a well written story.  The amount of description is just enough to put the reader in the appropriate time frame but not too much to bore them.  The book is apparently along the lines of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, but I’ve never read it so I can’t comment on that.

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