I’m deeply grateful to everyone who has purchased, read, and taken the time to review one of my books. All profits from my books go to help get dogs like GiGi, Warner, Duke, Florence with her six puppies, Mikey, Winslow, Cheri, Loralei, Tessa, Ashley, Pixie and Precious (photos below) out of kill shelters. We’re off to a good start in 2017 with the freedom of 63 dogs. In in 2016, 250 dogs were freed. In 2015, 148 dogs were freed.
AND please for everyone who’s purchased a book could I humbly ask you to write a review when you’ve completed the read. Amazon promotes and ranks books according to number of reviews in addition to sales. Every voice helps spread the word and that is an energy that can help a dog.
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RECENT REVIEWS FOR THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS
No one should ever have these kinds of experience. And yet in countries around the world. Such torture still exist . We have to understand our history if we truly want to demonstrate love for our fellow men. No matter what their race, religion and culture.
This is a harrowing story, but one that is important, one that should not be forgotten or denied and one that everyone should acknowledge as true.
History has shown the terrible things that happened to the Jewish people during Hitler’s reign, but there are still those who deny the atrocities committed by the German people (those that remained silent and those that enjoyed it), so books such this are vital in the hope that some may learn from it. Although, when we look at today’s world…
This was well written and easy to follow yet it is not an easy read due to its disturbing topic – though we must not turn away from the truth.
I have only one criticism and that is I don’t think some of the sexual ‘pleasure’ scenes were necessary. Yes, I understand Helen was growing up and discovering her sexuality, however, these scenes didn’t fit into this particular story.
Overall, a brilliant piece of writing – informative and terrible but well done.
Recommended to those who want to think and are not afraid of the truth, however awful. And hopefully it may help build a better future?
The Title of this book attracted me to read it. The connection between the real dress and the storyline does not become clear immediately.
Love and human kindness are found in this historically based book. In the midst of hell of the death camps.
The dress is a special gift, an expression of love.
Painful to read, at times, this book repays the effort of reading
It does keep you reading. The storyline unfolds and the event described show that Light cannot be obliterated by darkness.
AND FROM OTHER AMAZON SITES AROUND THE WORLD THAT I JUST SAW
This book isn’t another one of those about Hitler and his atrocities against the Jewish people in World War II. No, it isn’t; instead it is the definitive book about those horrific events and everyone should read it, especially at a time of a shallow media, weak populist politicians selling hate, an adventurist Russia and mayhem in the middle east.
It is a story of Helen, a German Jew, caught up in Hitler’s Final solution where the Jewish people are demonised and blamed for everything that is wrong with Germany. It exposes the savagery, lack of humanity and sadism of the time and is full of pathos, emotion and hope, yes hope, for a better world.
This book should be compulsory reading for all who believe in simple answers because it presents a stark warning of where hate leads and, told well in this book, it isn’t pleasant.
Paulette Mahurin’s historical novel about the Dreyfus affair, ‘To Live Out Loud’ was such an amazing feat I was wondering if she could pull off a similar coup with her new book about the Holocaust, ‘The Seven Year Dress’. No need to worry, Mahurin fans. This book, like its predecessor, will get you right in the heart and the gut. Here is an author who is not afraid of taking on big subjects.
Injustice, persecution and a ruined life for a courageous man bent on upholding his principles were some of the themes of the previous book. In ‘The Seven Year Dress’ we are faced with the ultimate horror, the Nazi-driven ideology to create a super race from which all undesirable elements (principally Jews) would be expurgated. The result, staggering in its enormity, was the Holocaust. The story has been told many times. How, I wondered, would the author engage the reader once again, how address what some have called ‘compassion fatigue’?
There are times reading the opening pages of a book when you know immediately something amazing awaits. It’s as if the author is holding out a promise to the reader. In the Prologue, we witness a confrontation between two strangers. Irma, a 20-year-old nursing student, is looking for a room to rent. She meets Helen, who has a room to let. As the interview proceeds, Irma is seized with a feeling of unease. Who is this old, worn out woman, whose apartment is curiously devoid of personal items and mementoes except for a piece of faded dress material in a frame under which is written ‘Nothing Lasts’? A woman with a tattooed number hidden beneath her sleeve, and who exudes an air of ‘restrained desperation’? The tension builds, then Irma, on the point of leaving to look for other accommodation, changes her mind, and a precious friendship is born. It is a friendship which, though neither woman knows it at the time, will lead to Helen’s story being told to the world.
In the next section we change narrators, stepping back in time to the Germany of the early 1920s. The youngest child of a large Jewish family in Berlin Helen recounts their happy family life with its scenes of domesticity, their friendship with the neighbours, whose son Max becomes an important figure in the narrative. But already the storm clouds are gathering. Helen has scarcely time to enjoy her childhood before the shadow of Adolf Hitler falls like a guillotine on the future of this one particular family, mirroring that of millions of others.
The story is a mixture of documented historical fact and artistic imagination. Like a black and white news reel we follow the relentless rise of the dictator: his vile anti-Semitic propaganda regretting that the ‘Jewish corrupters’ had not been wiped out by the poison gas of the First War, the rise of the Hitler youth movement, the passing of the Nuremberg laws, the emergence of nightmarish figures and institutions, Himmler, the SS, the Gestapo. Somewhere in a place called Dachau the first of the death camps is being built. Others will follow, haunted by devils, Rudolf Höss, Josef Mengele, Adolf Eichmann.
The events are only too familiar, but they take on a new resonance and impact as we move from the general to the particular, seeing all of this through the eyes of Helen, a normal, happy child, ‘with love in her heart’ who gradually realises her country is changing, that ‘bad things are happening’, that Hitler’s message has permeated society, become ‘a stench in the air’. First banned from attending school, she then becomes increasingly isolated, a victim of segregation, prejudice and growing violence until the realisation finally bursts upon her: ‘I was now a vermin Jew’.
Events accelerate. As Hitler invades country after country he simultaneously develops his policy of racial hygiene, the final solution to the problem of the Jewish question. The turning point for Helen is Kristallnacht, after which she begins a long descent into horror and suffering. The following years are recounted by Mahurin in a series of relentless episodes: the loss of Helen’s entire family, her years spent in hiding, the deportation to Auschwitz, and her experiences there. This is the part of the book that is most harrowing. It is in Auschwitz that, subjected to repeated humiliation and degradation, Helen is stripped of her identity, conditioned like one of Pavlov’s dogs, ‘dismantled’ as a person. And, amazingly, how she endures, heals, becomes resilient, by observing the altruism of others, by undergoing innumerable transformations, by the realisation that ‘nothing lasts’.
I have already said that the story of the Holocaust has been told many times. It needs to be told many times more, as a metaphor of man’s ultimate cruelty. Years ago Emile Zola stood up and said ‘J’accuse’. The same message is implicit in these events which took place more than seventy years ago but which, like the Dreyfus affair, brings past and present face to face.
Two questions recur throughout the book:
How much can the human spirit endure?
‘Nothing lasts,’ says Helen. Today, reading reports of 21st century slave markets for 9-year-old Yazidi girls, raped and driven to madness by ISIL, of similar fates for the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls forced to become ‘Boko Haram wives’, we are tempted to add ‘Nothing changes.’
‘The Seven Year Dress’ is dedicated to the real Helen Stein, who, Mahurin tells us, ‘bestowed upon me a gift of compassion and humility in sharing her story with me’. She adds: ‘In telling this story, I hope I serve her well.’
You do, Paulette, you do. Now Helen will be forever in our hearts, too.
RECENT REVIEWS FOR THE PERSECUTION OF MILDRED DUNLAP
Ms. Mahurin artfully weaves the timely and historical topics of 1895 into a splendid account of what happens in the life of a not so attractive, small town, kind and generous woman when the townswomen, led by the town “yenta”, learn about the prison sentence received by Oscar Wilde for gross indecency.
Although this book takes place in 1895 Nevada, it could not be more timely during the 2016 election season, as we saw what gossip (& “fake news”) did to flame fear, bigotry, intolerance and hatred in the hearts of seemingly educated Americans.
Ms. Mahurin excellently depicts how prejudice, hatred and bigotry can finally be overpowered by friendship, loyalty and truth. A very powerful and topical tale.
Gigi’s been rescued
Gigi’s freedom photo
GiGi’s vet visit. She was rescued by Little Paws in So. Calif and taken to the vet for badly needed medical care. Bless the angel, Judy Race (who runs that rescue) for helping GiGi, a senior dog.
Warner’s been rescued
Warner’s freedom photo
Warner happy and safe in her new home
Duke’s been rescued
Duke’s freedom photo
Florence and her six puppies have been rescued
Florence’s freedom photo
Florence getting loving at her vet check
Florence’s six babies
Forence’s babies in new home. Vet gave them all a clean bill of heal. Bless Cheryl Goldsmith who saved them all.
Mikey’s been rescued
Mikey’s freedom photo
Mikey happy on his freedom walk through the hay
Winslow’s been rescued
Winslow’s freedom photo
Winslow happy next to new family
Cheri’s been rescued
Cheri’s freedom walk
Cheri giving thanks to new family member
Loralei’s freedom photo
Loralei getting some loving in new home
Tessa’s been rescued
Tessa’s freedom photo
Tessa’s smiling a big thank you for being rescued
Ashley has been rescued
Ashley’s freedom photo
Ashley’s freedom ride
Pixie has been rescued
Pixie’s freedom photo
Pixie enjoying her freedom ride
Precious has been rescued
Precious freedom photo