Review by Magnify3 -- Hidden: Nistar by Batya Casper

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Magnify3
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Review by Magnify3 -- Hidden: Nistar by Batya Casper

Post by Magnify3 »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Hidden: Nistar" by Batya Casper.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Hidden: Nistar by Batya Casper is a historical fiction novel about war, secrecy, pain, loss and hope. It is basically two books in one, namely: Hidden and Hanover Gardens. The war story is told in a before and after fashion with a twist.

Set at a time years after the war, Hidden follows the story of the effects that the war had on the Lazamof family in Israel. After old Baruch Lazamof falls down to his death from the staircase, his neighbours say that Hannah killed him. No one has seen Hannah in years. A strange woman with red tinted hair shows up the following day. She lets herself into the house with her own key. The strange woman says that she is the next of kin. Tikvah the little girl keeps asking questions about her parents, but no one gives her a satisfying answer.

Hanover Gardens is set in England at the time of the war. Sisters, Myra and Annie Feld are sent to live with Inda and her family. Other people turn up to live there in need of a home. None of them were related. One day a knife goes missing. Days later a series of gushes are seen on the furniture and walls.

Casper has a unique and flawless writing style. She writes her story backwards, beginning years after the war is over. Whilst her language is clear and easy to read, the story itself is full of suspense and unanswered questions that unfold in the end. Having never read anything like it before, I found both the story and the style in which she told it unique. It was a war story with less details of the gory war itself. Instead one learnt the devastating effects through the eyes of family members that had lost loved ones.The first book illustrates what can happen when pain is hidden. When people do their best not to acknowledge their pain, living like nothing ever happened. The second book depicts quite the opposite. In identifying the pain and not only confronting it but helping others in the same predicament one finds hope for the future.

Another thing I think the author was trying to share, was the understanding that the effects of a war could affect a generation long after it was over. That children though young are equally affected by war, and that one must not think that they are to young to understand.

Hidden's narrative tends to switch from first to third person. Most of it being told from the point of view of Old Baruch Lazamof's late wife. Hanover Gardens is mostly told from the point of view of the children and partly Inda's. What I liked most about the book was the suspense and the sign of hope. What I didn't like was wishing there was a little bit more to be told when all had been said.

There are very few errors in the book which interestingly are even highlighted. For this reason and the fact that it has a great writing style, I rate it 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend the book to people that are interested in Israel, history, wars, refugees and just anyone who believes in hope after a war.

******
Hidden: Nistar
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Post by kandscreeley »

War is definitely something that influences several generations. It sounds like the author conveys that well. I'll have to keep this in mind for the future. Thanks!
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Post by Magnify3 »

kandscreeley wrote:
21 Jan 2020, 20:28
War is definitely something that influences several generations. It sounds like the author conveys that well. I'll have to keep this in mind for the future. Thanks!
The author is a genius. I do hope that you get to read it sometime. Thank you for stopping by!

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Post by Letora »

I haven't read many books that deal with the after-effects of war. This one sounds like an intersting read. Great review!
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Post by Magnify3 »

Letora wrote:
22 Jan 2020, 06:48
I haven't read many books that deal with the after-effects of war. This one sounds like an intersting read. Great review!
It is an interesting read. The author's writing style is poetic and keeps you glued to the pages. I do hope that you get a chance to read it!

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Post by Sushan »

Seemingly an interesting book which describes the aftermath as well as emotional aspect of war. Nice review 👍👍
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Post by Prisallen »

It's interesting that the author writes her story backward as I usually prefer to have it in a linear fashion. Other than that, this book seems like one I would be interested in reading. Thank you for the wonderful review!

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Post by SomeoneInTheWorld »

This seems like an amazing book with a lot of depth in it. I think I would really like to read it. Thanks for the amazing review!

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Post by Magnify3 »

Sushan wrote:
23 Jan 2020, 20:04
Seemingly an interesting book which describes the aftermath as well as emotional aspect of war. Nice review 👍👍
It really is an interesting book. Thank you for the kind words as well as for taking time to read my review!

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Post by Magnify3 »

Prisallen wrote:
24 Jan 2020, 10:38
It's interesting that the author writes her story backward as I usually prefer to have it in a linear fashion. Other than that, this book seems like one I would be interested in reading. Thank you for the wonderful review!
Truth be told, you will not even realize thst the story is being told backwards when you are reading. At least not immediately!

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Post by Julius_ »

A story with a flawless writing seams like a nice read. Thanks for the review.
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SomeoneInTheWorld wrote:
25 Jan 2020, 13:15
This seems like an amazing book with a lot of depth in it. I think I would really like to read it. Thanks for the amazing review!
Thank you for taking time to read my review and make a comment. I do hope that you get to read it.

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Post by Magnify3 »

Julius_ wrote:
26 Jan 2020, 06:04
A story with a flawless writing seams like a nice read. Thanks for the review.
You can say that again! Thanks for taking time to read my review. I hope that you get a chance to read it too.

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Post by InStoree »

Wow, the backward style seems challenging. Also, including two books in one sounds like the author took his time in building the plot. I'll keep in mind this book, as it seems to provide some interesting themes. Lovely review! Thank you for the recommendation!
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Post by Cotwani »

It is true that when pain is hidden, there are consequences to pay, but when not only acknowledged, but purposefully used to enlighten others, hope and purpose spring forth. Sounds like a soul-searching read. Thanks for the great review!
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