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The Family with Two Front Doors Paperback – 4 May 2017
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About the Author
Anna Ciddor has made her name as a versatile writer and illustrator of fiction, travel and historical books for primary school children and older readers. Her Viking Magic historical fantasy series has earned her fans throughout the world.
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There are notes which foreshadow the troubles to come: the attitudes of people once the family leave the Jewish area but overall, a lighthearted insight into the life of this large, happy family of a rabbi.
The author is the granddaughter of one of the children in the book and the story is based on real happenings.
Highly recommended and would make a useful background read for anyone about to study the Second World War.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As I read the book, I was disturbed to see how heavily it romanticizes the arranged marriage of two teenagers (aged 15 and 17) who have never met and who seem to have no control over their own lives. Adina is not at all sure she wants to get married, and Mordechai has his own problem in that his occupation will be chosen by his father, and he doesn't want the same thing his father wants. The narrator mentions these issues but drops them quickly without exploring them. Also mentioned, but completely unexplored, is the problem that the second daughter (aged 14) in the Rabinovitch family really does not want an arranged marriage--but the reader knows that, in a year or two, there will be heavy pressure on her to pursue one. Instead of attention to the real problems and conflicts in the family, there is dialogue like this (p. 99): "Is that the time? Nomi, you do the polishing then! No, you'd better go fetch the bagels. Oy, there is so much to do!" I found such passages to be a superficial and unsatisfying treatment of the scenario the book presents.