About My Book Reviews

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Girl in the Green Sweater by Krystyna Chiger


Title: The Girl in the Green Sweater: A Life in Holocaust's Shadow

Author: Krystyna Chiger

Published: 2012

Genre: Memoir

Grade Level: Adult

-Movie Rating: PG-13, for violence

Blurb (from goodreads):

True story from the major motion picture "In Darkness," official 2012 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film.

In 1943, a group of Polish Jews daringly sought refuge in the city's sewer system. The last surviving member this group, Krystyna Chiger, shares one of the most intimate, harrowing and ultimately triumphant tales of survival to emerge from the Holocaust. The Girl in the Green Sweater is Chiger's harrowing first-person account of the fourteen months she spent with her family in the fetid, underground sewers of Lvov.

It is also the story of Leopold Socha, a Polish Catholic and former thief, who risked his life to help Chiger's underground family survive, bringing them food, medicine, and supplies. This is a moving memoir of a desperate escape and life under unimaginable circumstances, but is ultimately a tale of intimate survival, friendship, and redemption.


Disclaimer: My review of this memoir is not in any way a reflection upon the author or their life. I am a book reviewer, I review books… not people.


My Scores:

Writing Style: Solid

I try to go easy on memoirs because their just people with a story to tell, not authors trying to make a living. However, I can honestly say that I enjoyed how this novel was written. It was highly organized, interesting, and built up a good amount of tension.

In addition, Chiger seemed to be highly aware of the mindset of the audience and the questions they might have about certain situations. This was probably due to the involvement of Daniel Paisner, a ghost-writer.


Characters: Underdeveloped

(I known they’re real people. I’m referring to them as character’s anyway.)

The MC, in this case the author’s childhood persona, was highly observant, emotionally intelligent, and family oriented. Seeing how the war physically and emotionally changed this happy-go-lucky, little girl into a depressed, anxious ‘animal’ made me furious.

However, I didn’t feel like I really got to know anyone outside of the MC. I think it had to do with the lack of dialogue between the other characters verses the vast amount of internal dialogue from the MC. Although, I definitely knew enough about the other characters in the abstract sense to feel sympathetic for their situation, nervous about their decisions, and completely in awe of their willpower to live.


Plot: Absolute Page Turner

The novel is very well paced. There are several nail-biting moments throughout the novel, despite the knowledge that the author is going to survive (in order to write the book we now have in our hands).

The struggles that her family went through boggle the mind. Even though I imagined everything that was being described through my mind’s eye, I still don’t think I could ever fully appreciate what she went through (you know, since I’ve never been forced to hide in a sewer from those who’d wish me dead).


Overall: Obsessed

I was thoroughly engaged in reading this novel. Even though I got very busy and had to put it down several times, I never wanted to give up on reading it all the way through. Even more impressively, I never forgot where I was in the plot. Honestly, as much teachers love the Diary of Anne Frank, I found this work to be much more approachable, engaging, and powerful. But that's just one English major’s opinion. 


Goodreads Rating: 4 out 5 stars

No comments:

Post a Comment