4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fascinating, September 15, 2012
By Kat from The Aussie Zombie (Netherlands)
I love historical fiction, particularly stories set around 1940s Europe. A Suitable Husband is set in 1930s Poland, a period that also had my interested piqued, but not a setting of any other books that I can remember reading.
A Suitable Husband is the story of one young woman, Bianca, her family and friends, and the struggle of Jews in Poland during the 1930’s. Told from different POVs – primarily Bianca, her mother and her brother, A Suitable Husband delves into the politics and discrimination of that era, as well as age-old family dynamics – the mother that holds the family together, the daughter who dreams of an education and the son who is unsure of which path to take in life.
S.B. Lerner takes the story of a family living through difficult times and magics it into a wonderful mixture of political difficulties, coming-of-age and family sagas.
The characters are vivid and endearing, particularly those of Bianca, torn between doing what is right and what her heart wants, and her mother, Danka, who is determined that her children will have the best life she can possibily provide for them, all the while fighting to keep them safe from the changing attitudes of the Polish people towards the Jews.
And in the midst of a family saga there is also a fascinating look into the Jewish plight in 1930s Poland and their fight to belong, to be independent or simply to build a life for themselves in the face of terrible discrimination.
A Suitable Husband grabbed me from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the end. There were parts that felt a little rushed towars the end and the ending took me a little by surprise and although it wasn’t what I expected, I did think it suited the book and the characters perfectly.