Welcome to KIWIreviews - product reviews
•  click here to return to the homepage  •
Welcome visitor.Join us or log in

Product reviews on kiwireviews.nz : Monday 27th June 2022 - 16:45:26

QuickSearch for:    What is QuickSearch?
QuickJump to:    What is QuickJump?
logon name: p/w:  
I want to:

You Are Here...

Home > Categories > Books > Non-Fiction > The Writing On The Wall review

« Fall; or, Dodge in Hell reviewFall; or, Dodge in HellThe Impossible Boy reviewThe Impossible Boy »

Score: 9.8/10  [1 review]
5 out of 5
ProdID: 8438 - The Writing On The Wall
Written by Juliet Rieden

The Writing On The Wall
Sample/s Supplied by:
Click to search for all products supplied by Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Disclosure StatementFULL DISCLOSURE: A number of units of this product have, at some time, been supplied to KIWIreviews by Macmillan Publishers Ltd or their agents for the purposes of unbiased, independent reviews. No fee was accepted by KIWIreviews or the reviewers themselves - these are genuine, unpaid consumer reviews.
September 2019

The Writing On The Wall product reviews

In 1939, as Hitler's troops marched on Prague, a Jewish couple made a heartbreaking decision that would save their eight-year-old son's life but change their family forever. Australian journalist Juliet Rieden grew up in England in the 1960s and 70s, always sensing that her family was different in some way. She longed to have relatives and knew precious little about her Czech father's childhood as a refugee.

Juliet traces the grim fate of her father's cousins, aunts and uncles on visits to Auschwitz and Theresienstadt concentration camps, and learns about the extremes of cruelty, courage and kindness. Then, in a locked box in Britain's National Archives, she discovers a stash of documents which include letters from her father revealing intimate details of his struggle.

Meticulously researched and beautifully told, this is the moving story of a woman's quest to piece together the hidden parts of her father's life and the unimaginable losses he was determined to protect his children from.

Check out Macmillan Publishers Ltd onlineClick here to see all the listings for Macmillan Publishers Ltd Visit their website They do not have a Twitter account They do not have a Facebook page They do not have a YouTube Channel They do not have a Pinterest board They do not have an Instagram channel They do not have a TikTok channel

atrocities   auschwitz   concentration camp   czechoslovakia   genocide   holocaust   jew   juliet rieden   nazi   prague   theresienstadt
Other listings you may be interested in:
Hyperion Cantos : 1 : HyperionHyperion Cantos : 1 : Hyperion
Rating: 9.3
Darkglass Mountain : 1 : The Serpent BrideDarkglass Mountain : 1 : The Serpent Bride
Rating: 8.8
Cor Blimey, Mate - Action Stories for Young HuntersCor Blimey, Mate - Action Stories for Young Hunters
Rating: 9.3
The Emperor's New Clothes HorseThe Emperor's New Clothes Horse
Rating: 8.6
The TwitsThe Twits
Rating: 9.7
Cooper Anytime Interactive Story BuddyCooper Anytime Interactive Story Buddy
Rating: 10.0
Old BlueOld Blue
Rating: 10.0
How does the Giraffe get to Work?How does the Giraffe get to Work?
Rating: 10.0
E Hoki FlashE Hoki Flash
Rating: 10.0
Gorilla Loves VanillaGorilla Loves Vanilla
Rating: 10.0
The Seven Signs: #1 SkyfireThe Seven Signs: #1 Skyfire
Rating: 8.6
Dinosaur Trouble #2: The Lava Melt ShakeDinosaur Trouble #2: The Lava Melt Shake
Rating: 9.1
Bess The Brave War HorseBess The Brave War Horse
Rating: 9.6

Product reviews...

Everyone is welcome to post a review. You will need to Join up or log in to post yours.

Click here to read the profile of savta

Review by: savta (Jo)
Dated: 16th of September, 2019

Link to this review Report this review


This Review: 9.8/10
Value for Money:
Score 9 out of 10
Interesting Facts:
Score 10 out of 10
Score 10 out of 10
Personal Choice:
Score 10 out of 10

I approached The Writing On The Wall with a strong sense of anticipation, excitement even, because my own family has a very similar background and we too have researched our origins and discovered the most amazing, unforgettable facts about ourselves. Whilst acknowledging and mourning the dead, it is nevertheless a privilege to be able to trace the stories of relatives long gone, while learning of the journeys of those still living; it offers insight into one's own skills and passions, inherited no doubt from those who went before. Families were decimated by the Holocaust, but their spirit lives on in the family members who survived and their children. I started at the first page of this book and did not put it down until I reached the acknowledgements!

Apart from my personal interest in the subject matter, I was impressed by the way Juliet Riedel presents her research. Despite the work that has gone into tracing her father's story, this is no dry textbook. The story is offered as a personal memoir; the writing style, almost conversational at times, reflects this desire to connect with the reader. The historical references are sufficient to support the story, but are added incidentally so that they do not impose - they are necessary of course to highlight the implications of shifting attitudes, border changes, and various restrictions on travel, etc so that the events described are clear to follow.

It came as no surprise to me to read of the attitudes of many of Hanus (John) Rieden's countrymen towards Jews - this is a common side-effect of divide-and-rule strategies by a government that is out of control and manipulates the majority so that they inadvertently join in the action against the minority. This was happening in every country that was under the thumb of the Third Reich, fanning prejudice and encouraging racist attacks. In England, too, Chamberlain's push for "peace in our time" sealed the fate of many when he signed the Munich Agreement. What was more insidious was the reaction of the entitled inhabitants of Lubbock Road in Chislehurst, who arrogantly demanded that they wanted no "invasion of foreigners" in their select residential neighbourhood.

There is a very strong message in the book about tolerance and justice, and a plea that a tragedy such as the Shoah should never happen again. It is timely that this message should appear, given the political and social attitudes of many countries even now, 80 years on. Juliet's father is portrayed as a pacifist and a fundamentally good person despite his life of unending struggles, first to adjust to life without his parents, then to survive in a new and sometimes hostile environment where the language and customs were all foreign to him and money was always scarce. That he finally achieved his aim - his family around him and a situation of financial security - is due completely to his tenacity and ability to be flexible amidst change.

I liked having the family trees to refer to; it made sense of the relationships, some convoluted as happens in any family history. It was also helpful to have the photographs included as they enabled the reader to put faces to many of the names in the book. Together they enhanced my reading as I was continually stopping to check them, mainly to see where a particular name slotted in. And although any family tree is always in a state of change as deaths and births are added (as well as second and subsequent marriages), the printed versions included here have records for all those mentioned in the book.

If I were adding something, I would like to see an index included. There were so many names (people and places) that it would have been helpful to be able to refer back. When I am reading a memoir or a history I often go back and re-read a section to clarify a point, and indices are most helpful in this respect. Other than that, I found the book fascinating and a wonderful account of a very special man (and his family). Apart from some of the details (my family was Polish rather than Czech, and the cousins we lost were in Majdanek), this could have been my own family's story!

Random listing from 'Books'...

Score: 9.5
Product reviews for listing 7336: Ripley's Believe It or Not - Wild & Wacky Edition 2017 -  Author: Ripley's Publishing

Product image for Ripley's Believe It or Not - Wild & Wacky Edition 2017Full of the newest, weirdest, crazy and amazing facts and discoveries from around the world!

Have you ever wished you could live in a life-sized gingerbread house? There's one in Texas large enough for a family of five! What about a secret underwater city? One was discovered in China over fifty years ago at the bottom of a lake! Learn about jaw-dropping people, places, and animals that you never knew existed!

The ... more...

Go to the listing

General Disclaimer...

Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Checker - Do not copy content from this page. Creative Commons Licence All trademarks, images and copyrights on this site are owned by their respective companies.
KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.

"Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises."

KIWIreviews Help GuideClick here for the Help Guide