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Sunday Scoop

Rivka’s War

By Marilyn Oser


Hello to all my book reading pals!! My posts have been limited lately with my son’s wedding coming up next Saturday! The big day is almost here. I am excited to have a daughter finally!! I participated in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk yesterday at The University of Akron my alma mater for the first time!  On a not so good note, I am waiting to see what the orthopedic doctor says tomorrow about my left knee which has decided suddenly to not behave itself and cause problems!!

This was released about a year ago, October of 2013 by Mill City Press. It is only 274 pages. I read it in one day. I received this from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was surprised at the low reviews on LibraryThing, but there was only a couple of opinions!

Russia, 1914. Rivka, daughter of a prosperous boot maker, seems destined by tradition for marriage and the humdrum rounds of shtetl life.+ Then war breaks out, and things go badly for the tsar’s army. When demoralized troops begin deserting their posts in the trenches, one unlikely officer recruits a battalion of girls to set an example for the men. Rivka seizes upon this chance for adventure as her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something great in the world. She signs on, never suspecting the terrors that await her, or the trials that will test her, or the mishaps that will take her from the frozen steppes of Siberia to the hot, dusty hills of Palestine. Based on actual events, Rivka’s War is a riveting tale of loss and survival. In vivid detail, it portrays the impact of the Great War on Jewish life, re-creating a vanished world (Netgalley).

I found this book to be fascinating! A young Russian woman who is Jewish joins a Russian battalion of women to fight the Germans! The book is also about the leader of their troop a woman named Yashka. I have been reading and learning about WWI lately and I feel this book contributed to my understanding of the war. It presents us with the Russian politics of WWI and the persecution of the Jews that occurred during this time. I was engaged in the story and her travels and I was not bored or overwhelmed with the politics. Unlike other books I have read in the past, I was able to understand the politics involved and what was going on in this book. It is an interesting piece of history. Rivka was a remarkable woman. I enjoyed reading this story. I think the story line is a great one! This writer is still developing her own writing style. I felt this was a good book. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.


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