What She Lost tells the story of Sarah, a typical teenager growing up in Poland at the height of the war. When things start to get bad, her brother urges them to leave, but their parents know this is their home, and instead, they get torn apart. Told as a memory for Sarah’s granddaughter, the story ranges from hope to despair and everything in between. What Sarah and her family went through was sadly typical of the terror of those years for Jewish people and anyone Hitler deemed different.
I feel Hunter glossed over some parts of what Sarah went through and then went into detail surrounding little things that probably didn’t need as much detail (conversations that didn’t move the story forward). I felt the ending was incredibly rushed, a bit of, oh remember how in the prologue I started the story with a grandmother getting on a plane to visit her family? It seemed that the prologue and ending were added as an afterthought.
Aside from what I didn’t like about the book, there was a lot to like and I think the message is still strong and relevant today. What She Lost goes into detail of what happened for many after the war, they were displaced with no homes to return to and the likelihood that they would have no family to return to either. This is marketed as a YA and while Sarah and her siblings were teenagers, I think this could very easily be a genre for all ages. It’s never easy reading about Hitler’s reign, but it’s a time in our history we must not forget.