Review from Romania: More than met my expectations

Book Review (LI) The Seven Year Dress


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.

 My review

I was eagerly awaiting Ms. Mahurin ‘s new book, and it more than met my expectations.

This is not an easy book, if only because the situation depicted is so dreadful, but Ms. Mahurin has a nice writing style and a sensitive point of view. She weaves, in The Seven Year Dress, a story of the weakness and the strength of the human spirit.

The Seven Year Dress delves a little deeper into the human condition than in the author’s last novel, but still with the same themes of hope, despair, love, resilience and redemption.

The author focuses on Hitler’s Germany and the ruthless regime that swept across Europe in the 1930s and 1940s. While the descriptions are horribly realistic, the characters are not one dimensional.

The author’s research was done very well. She has such a way of describing how the characters felt in so many situations. The story flows effortlessly with Helen Stein’s voice. Helen, a beautiful Jewish teenager trapped in a situation she has been forced to endure. It was a sick time in history, and I think books like this are important, because history does repeat itself. The more people who are horrified by the hatred, racism, and resulting unbelievable cruelty and disregard for human life, the more people there will be who will try to break the cycle of history.

The Seven Year Dress is not by any means a treatise on the Holocaust. It is one person’s observation, interpretation, and experience. It isn’t the Holocaust that comes alive in this book. Helen, the survivor, comes alive.

I cringed inside reading about all that Helen had to suffer, though I previously read books and watched movies on the same topic.

A touching moment is the one when Helen, after staying hidden for a long time, receives a dress from Max. „This dress was a symbol of normalcy, my femininity, and my past,” Helen says. I cried reading those pages, which is one of the signs of a good book.

The background characters, Ben, Max, Helen’s parents, Ester were equally important.

Author Paulette Mahurin, via Helen’s story, pulls no punches in descriptions of the horror and human tragedy that befell not only the European Jews but also millions of other people whose “crime” was that they were non-Aryan, elderly, sick, political prisoners, or disabled, and therefore, unfit to live.

For the rest of the review please visit this website at below link:


About The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for "gross indecency" under Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the news of Wilde's conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
This entry was posted in REVIEWS, THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Review from Romania: More than met my expectations

  1. tazzielove says:

    Great review. So happy to see it reaching international markets.

  2. Awesome! Almost as awesome as the book!!! 🙂

  3. What a gift you are to your readers Paulette.

  4. I must catch up! I’ll be on to Kindle tomorrow.

  5. Fan-tab-ulous review, Paulette. 🙂 ❤

  6. Kev says:

    Wonderful review! 😊

  7. Jean-Jacques says:

    Hey Paulette… I just got back fro a 12 day trip, and while away saw that you had published your third book, The Seven Year Dress. From all the praise you have been getting, it looks like your third winner in a row. I want to order a print copy, so please let me know where and when it will be available so that I can order a copy.


    • Welcome back from your trip, JJ. And once again thank you so much for your kind supportive words. The book should be out in several days and I’ll post something when it comes out. I’d love to have you read it and let me know what your think. You, especially who writes so poignantly tackles darker issues in some of your poetry: politicians, the abuse one encounters with greed, etc. I admire your work and am thrilled to be able to share mine with you. ❤

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