Publisher: Orca Books
Released: September 29th, 2015
Source: Ebook review copy from publisher
There is no failure, just discovery.
Sara has never been out of the tiny town of Hope, Ontario, where she has been in an orphanage all her life. After a fire destroys the orphanage, clues about her parentage—a medical certificate and a Star of David—lead her to Germany. Despite her fears—she doesn’t speak the language, she knows no one in Germany, and she’s never been on an airplane—Sara arrives in Germany determined to explore her newly discovered Jewish heritage and solve the mystery of her parentage. What she encounters is a country still dealing with the aftermath of the Holocaust. With the help of a handsome, English-speaking German boy, she discovers the sad facts of her mother’s brief existence and faces the horrible truth about her father. Ultimately, the knowledge she gains opens up her world and leads her to a deeper understanding of herself.
The thing I really really liked about this book is that while Sara had heard of the Holocaust, she really didn’t know a whole lot about it, and I think a lot of young readers are in the same position. So it’s awesome that not only are young readers getting an addictive story centred around the mystery of who Sara’s parents were, but they are learning an important piece of world history.
I found Sara to be a bit of a wishy-washy, weak character at the beginning and it was cool to watch her really come into her own as the story progressed. As she worked through the mystery of her heritage she really came into her own and started to realize what’s important to her and stand up for it.
As with all of the books in this series, there was an element of romance to Stones on the Grave. I’m honestly still trying to decide how I feel about it. I think, given Sara’s journey, I would have preferred the book without it, but it in no way was overdone and it definitely didn’t distract from the main story. I’m just curious about how Sara would have handled her situation without his help.
I really enjoyed this book and the details of Sara’s heritage definitely caught me by surprise. Which is perfect for a mystery.