I seem to be on a trend of reading amazing books, because this historical fiction novel checked all my boxes! Also, the author donates all her profits to shelters to help dogs! Another good reason to buy and read, aside from it being FANTASTIC!
One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship. Written by the award winning, best selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut.
About the Author:
Paulette Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.
While in college, she won awards and was published for her short-story writing. One of these stories, Something Wonderful, was based on the couple presented in His Name Was Ben, which she expanded into a fictionalized novel in 2014. Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction of the year 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth novel, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the Amazon kindle store bestseller list in its fourth week out. She has been ranked as an Amazon best selling author for several of her books.
Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.
Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.
Social Media Links:
Press release on Paulette Mahurin’s donating profits to help dogs: http://www.vcstar.com/lifestyle/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance-benefits-animal-rescue-ep-363177738-351980511.html
One of my favorite type of book to review is historical fiction taking place during the Holocaust/WWII Europe. In my youth, I did an immense amount of reading on the topic, fiction and non-fiction. I am always pleased when an author sticks to the history, showing they have used the research materials at their disposal.
The Seven Year Dress ticked all the boxes for me. Mahurin touched on a little discussed topic of the time, regarding homosexuality, through Max, one of the main characters. His conflict between who he was and what he had to pretend to be was heartbreaking. Helen’s experience in Auschwitz was raw, and Mahurin wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of comfort for the sake of her reader. The loss experienced by Helen was palatable, harsh, and yet, she managed to survive her time in the camp, growing stronger with the memories of her family and friends.
I accept that this novel is fiction as well. If I wanted a history book, I would have read one. The Seven Year Dress is well-researched, well-written, and overall, a fantastic example of historical fiction. Five, enthusiastic stars from me!