You know that moment when you start to read a book and connect with it from the first pages? This is what happened to me when I began to read “Paradise Ghetto.” I must confess that we received a copy directly from Fergus O’Connell more than one month ago, but because of the severe subject, I didn’t find the courage to read it. When I finally strengthen myself up, I was hypnotized by the author’s way of writing and how he created his novel.
Introduction to the “Paradise Ghetto”
The story starts with the presentation of Julia, a Dutch girl with a rough past, who is forced to play in adult movies in order to get money and survive during the World War II. She is arrested and sent to a concentration camp where she meets the innocent and frighted Suzanne. Soon after their arrest, they are deported to a place named Theresienstadt. This camp was used by the Nazis to impress the Red Cross and create propaganda movies to show how well they treat the Jews. However, just how history taught us, this didn’t happen. This “Paradise Ghetto” was starving and exhausting its inhabitants.
However, in this Hell, Julia and Suzanne decide to start writing a book, convinced that when they will be able to finish their novel, also the war will end and they will be free. They created a character named Birkita, who is enslaved by the Romans after all her family is killed in front of her.
Some Badgery thoughts about the novel
I loved the idea of two totally separated stories in one big picture. Even though they were completely different, they were also so similar and both captivating. I don’t know which character I enjoyed following the most, but I must say that because of this I couldn’t leave the book out of my hands.
This is not a book for those weak of heart, but it is a great and powerful book, with an ever greater ending which just leaves you thinking, so thank you again, Fergus O’Connell, for giving me the possibility of reading your great novel.
P.S. If you want to read about other books which present unconventional love you should also check Splendore by Margaret Mazzantini.