White Feather Book Review by Kathryn White
Rising Up by Evie Woolmore
War, loss, family secrets and the ability for two people to connect and communicate despite living in different centuries are the themes of Evie Woolmore’s historical/spiritual novel Rising Up. Set in Warsaw, the novel has two main protagonists.
The first is Tom an English teacher whose real motivation to travel to Warsaw lies in researching his grandmother’s past and the true identity of his father, a Polish World War Two hero.
Contrasting Tom’s relatively comfortable 21st century life in a modern city is that of the novel’s second protagonist, Ela, a young woman who lives in a Jewish ghetto in 1942. From the outset, any reader with a basic knowledge of twentieth century history, knows the deplorable conditions that Ela is living under and, more worryingly, her probable fate. (It is almost unfair how much the author makes me care for Ela, with her probable future considered.) Imagine then, with a twist of unlikely circumstances, Tom and Ela are able to transcend time and communicate with one another through the walls of their apartment.
More than being a war story with a twist of science fiction, Rising Up demonstrates how the communications between Tom and Ela help each character to grow and change on a spiritual level. Tom’s words give Ela hope; Ela’s words help Tom to understand more about his family and his past. Tom also struggles quite a bit regarding what he should or should not tell Ela, considering that he knows what will happen to the ghetto in the very near future. There is also a lovely deeper connection between the two and a reason for the communication, but to describe that would spoil the ending.
I found Rising Up to be a highly enjoyable novel, a blend of historical and contemporary fiction with a dash of spiritualism and magic realism in there.
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White Feather Book Review – Kathryn White is a book critic, poet and independently published author from Adelaide, South Australia.
Her novels include ‘Being Abigail’. ‘Best Forgotten’, and ‘Behind The Scenes”.
When she isn’t reading or writing (which is hardly ever), you’ll find her indulging in her other passions such as photography and walking on the beach.