Reviews for The Seven Year Dress: A Brilliant, masterful book.

I’m humbled and overwhelmed by the beautiful and thoughtful reviews that are coming in. This was a difficult book to write about an extremely difficult subject matter. Thankfully I was moved by the real Helen to keep a focus on the light of survival and not the hateful destruction of evil. As all my profits go to help get dogs out of kill shelters, I am grateful to everyone who has purchased a book, taken the time to write a review, and spread the word. Many lives have been saved with the efforts of a large group of kindhearted animal lovers. I’m grateful to be among them, playing my small part.
on May 23, 2016
I am a huge fan of this autor but none of her books I have read thus far, got me to invest quite as much as this book.
To start with. I love the young girls attitude at the start. Another old woman, another sad story. It was so human and so true to life that instead of judging her, I was taking internal bets on how long she will last against this old woman, and this old story. I won, not long.
The characters pop in this book. I have always admired the fact that this author writes exclusively for charity of no kill shelters and even SPCA’s funding relocating of pets to forever homes. She also always uses her writing to shed light on issues of tolerance and in showcasing narrowmindedness as the evil it is. Usually she does this by making one of the main characters gay. This time she again shed light on the plight of Gay men and woman internationally but she made the main character a non practising Jewish woman / child. One that grows into her own sexuality as she grows into the WWII in Berlin and interesting take on how nothing surpasses our own natural instincts.
But these characters have so much to them. So many levels to be explored, to learn to know and all of them is always firstly human, secondly what ever else will help the plot along. By the end of the book, when it is reitterated that this is a book of hope, not dispair I was picking at a tear for truly, this characters spirit is such that nothing would get her down for long. And yes, the book is about hope because in the telling of the story we get to see the worst and best of humanity and we see how the best wins out by sheer will. And a promise made not to live, but to live well. Ok, so yes, I love this book? Can you tell?

on May 23, 2016
My expectations were so high for this because I read Live Out Loud by Mahurin and it literally left me speechless.
Let’s just say, this one left me speechless as well and was even better! Which is saying a lot because Live Out Loud was amazing…
Mahurin’s writing is breathtaking and masterful, and the way she weaves together this story is no short of brilliant.
A must read for fans of historical fiction, The Seven Year Dress is a story told from the perspective of a little Jewish girl during the Holocaust.
I expected the story to be sad and heartbreaking, and it was but it was so many other things too – this beautiful little girl, who even in the darkest of times doesn’t let anyone put out the light in her soul – was inspiring and uplifting and so meaningful. I cried and smiled, felt loss and hope. My author definitely knew when to tug my heart strings and when not to! Incredible!
Major kudos to the author on the amount of time she must have spent on research for this book. The author’s knowledge of the time period and details of the environment were written with such accuracy and genuineness, I felt like it was all true – straight from the mouth of an amazing little girl.
I absolutely loved it and highly recommend this book, especially for lovers of historical fiction.
This author is a major talent and her books keep me up all night, loving every minute of it! Job well done!!!
on May 23, 2016
As time marches on and memories fade well written books about the horrors of the holocaust remain both important reminders of the past and warnings of where political rhetoric fuelled by hate can lead. The telling of one person’s experiences reminds us the incomprehensible figures represents individuals who lived, loved and dreamed. Each individual and their personal experience deserves to be told and remembered.
The book tells the story of Helen, the sole survivor of her family. The book follows her early carefree life, the impending doom, her escape to a remote farmhouse during Kristallnacht, her discovery and removal to Auschwitz.
Not only does the author create a new unique character but deals with the question of sexuality in an original way. Helen and her brother are helped by their Aryan friend Max. On the face of it Max is the lucky one, born of the correct race with blond hair and blue eyes he is quickly enrolled in Hitler’s Youth and from there into the SS. However he knows if the secret of his sexuality is discovered he will become as ‘undesirable’ as his Jewish friends. The book also touches on how a generation grew from children to adults within the concentration camps.
Another fresh perspective comes from the author’s consideration of acts of compassion. Many survived the ordeal of the atrocities of the camp through both the giving and receiving of small acts of kindness. The sharing of a blanket or food rations or a simple hug.
A worthwhile, well-researched, thought provoking addition to the genre which I highly recommend..
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ALL PROFITS FROM ALL MY BOOKS GO TO HELP GET DOGS OUT OF KILL SHELTERS. HERE ARE A FEW OF THE LUCKY ONES:
Mia's before and after photos- now home sweet home

Mia’s before and after photos

Neo getting loved on by new dad

Neo getting some loving from new dad

Missy's been saved.jpg

Misssy’s been rescued

Neo's freedom photos.jpg

Neo’s freedom photos

Onasis 12 y:o lab freedom photo

12-year-old senior Onasis with new family

Remy's freedom photo with new family

Happy Remy with new dad

Thrumpkin's freedom photo what a handsome boy.jpg

Thrumpkin’s freedom photo (he looks exactly like my Max❤ )

Hard as I’ve tried to center the photos this seems to be the best I can do. My apologies for some of the photos falling off the screen but I wanted the happy dog to make an appearance.

Posted in REVIEWS | 18 Comments

A masterfully told story of human heartache and triumph

While I’m awaiting word that the paperback is out for my book, I wanted to share a few of the first kindle book reviews. And more photos of some of the dogs that profits from my books have helped get out of kill shelters. Thank you to everyone who purchased a book, took the time to write a review, and helped spread the word. I’m grateful for your support.

 

FRONT COVER The Seven Year Dress KINDLE(1) copy

Adobe Photoshop PDF

REVIEWS FOR THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS

AMAZON

on May 16, 2016

A masterfully told story of human heartache and triumph

Mahurin has done it once again! This remarkable author has a knack for selecting timely (and timeless) topics infused with ethical significance and populated with unforgettable characters.

Never afraid to tackle difficult, sensitive issues, the author takes us back into one of the most deplorable moments in recent human history—Germany and Hitler’s maniacal attempt at genocide. One might wonder, “Hasn’t enough been written about the Nazis, anti-Semitism and death camps? Aren’t these stories of persecution and death or ultimate survival all, on some level, alike?” The answer is a resounding “No!” And here are the reasons.

The Seven Year Dress is based on the story of a real survivor. While Helen’s story has been fictionalized, elements of this tale actually happened. What part is fact and what part is fiction? I don’t know, but I do know that it all reads as if it did happen. Mahurin balances agony with elation, pain with pleasure. How much more true to life can that be? This tale of a woman’s life is told and, in the telling, she is remembered, honored, and her humanity (once ripped from her) is restored. That is why we tell stories and why we should read them.

While reading Mahurin’s book, I was surprised by the intimacy—sexual needs that the characters expressed and acted upon—while either in hiding or imprisoned. Of all the books on the Holocaust I’ve read, I have never encountered any mention of carnal desires among the prisoners. At first, I wondered how anyone could have sexual longings while fearing for their lives; but it makes perfect sense. These people were stripped of their identity in these camps. Clinging to what little they could claim as their own (their bodies) would have been important to them. I began to think differently about how people survive in desperate situations and what it means to be truly human. Isn’t that the definition of an outstanding book—it gets the reader to think differently?

Finally, as a culture and a human race, we can never be reminded too frequently how hatred and fear can turn a civilized country into something deplorable. Helen’s story is a poignant aide-mémoire to all of us about being socially aware and personally vigilant. “Life is precious.” Helen learns this from her father. “Nothing lasts.” Helen learns this from her experiences. I learned many lessons from this extraordinary book by an award-winning author. What will you learn?

on May 21, 2016

History will never fade from sight when poignant, powerful books like this are written. The story is not new. WW2 happened, Hitler was as depicted, the Jews were persecuted, and millions were killed. However, Ms Mahurin has brought a deeply personal and heart wrenching story, which managed to shock, surprise, and engross this reader.

Helen Stein, a young Jewish girl, takes centre stage as she looks back over the turbulent and tragic war years. Her relationships with family and friends are beautifully depicted, and emotionally powerful. It is an addictive story, which the author did not coat with sugar. Instead she deftly led the me on a journey of love and hatred, and I learned a lot from a story that was confidently told and thoroughly researched. A five star thumbs up from me.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

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.
All in all, The Seven Year Dress is gripping, heartbreaking, but beautiful.
on May 19, 2016

The Seven Year Dress is a story that will remain with me for some time. Books about the Holocaust are numerous and varied but nothing has moved me more than the main character’s story – Helen Stein-in this latest work from Paulette Mahurin. The author examines quite a few issues in this story, sexuality, relationships, personal suffering and hope to name but a few.

Through the words of Helen Stein we gain an understanding of a life lived in a concentration camp. We also get to know and understand how strength, hope, and self preservation can overcome the most horrendous life imaginable.

Paulette Mahurin shows great writing skills and character building in The Seven Year Dress. The narrative and the story will pull at your heart strings. Mahurin is a talented author and proves this by writing a story with very few characters in it but the The Seven Year Dress is a full, in depth and complete narrative that makes it compulsive reading.

on May 18, 2016
The Seven Year Dress is beautifully written. This is not just another NAZI book. Paulette Mahurin has the uncanny ability to reduce the horrors of millions to just one and when she does this the emotions can all be felt, experienced by us readers as though we were there and finally understood in their depth. Congratulations. Once again, Paulette has shared her gift. I am one more lucky reader.

Format: Kindle Edition

This is an impressive and ambitious novel, telling the story of Helen Stein, a woman who survived Auschwitz.
Following her childhood in the 1920s and 1930s she grows up in a world that gradually closes in on her and her family and friends. Well researched and with great historical detail the book lets us witness the loss of ease and liberties as the unthinkable really happens.
Mahurin has chosen a great character: complex, clever and naive, fragile and resilient.
Excellently chosen side characters and ‘side-issues’ widen the field and make this all the more rewarding and stimulating a read. You know some of what will happen but there is enough unknown to make this an addictive and compelling read.
I was in awe of the powerful ending, the message of humanity and the survival of the human spirit. In fact, the entire book is powerful, from the tense prologue to the last word of the epilogue.
Much food for thought and very worthwhile your time.

Format: Kindle Edition

A riveting story of one woman’s surviving Hitler’s regime.
From a good life in Berlin, to the seclusion of a cellar in a
friend’s farm, to Auschwitz comes scene after scene of the
unthinkable intolerance and persecution levied not just against
the protagonist in this story but an entire race. The Jewish
population. Mahurin doesn’t hold back in description and
bringing the reader into the cruelty and horrors that took place
for anyone who protested against the regime and its leader. In
one of the darkest times in world history there are also
thousands of lights that shine and illuminate: those who
selflessly help, those who dare to endure and survive, those
who continued on with living when it seemed like being alive
was a hellish nightmare; the heroes sung and unsung are
brought to view in this incredible story. Masterfully told, I
couldn’t put it down. ARC was given to me for an honest review.
ALL REVIEWS FOR THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS

https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Year-Dress-Paulette-Mahurin-ebook/dp/B01FEAX7AU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1463258123&sr=1-1&keywords=the+seven+year+dress#customerReviews

 

PURCHASE LINK FOR ALL OF PAULETTE MAHURIN’S BOOKS

http://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 GOODREADS REVIEWS:

 

The Seven Year Dress
by Paulette Mahurin (Goodreads Author)

7601084

Lorna Lee‘s review

May 16, 2016
it was amazing
Read from May 13 to 14, 2016

 

Never one to shy away from difficult and important topics, Mahurin has bestowed upon the reading public yet another compelling novel that will appeal to a wide range of audiences: history buffs, humanitarians, anyone who enjoys reading a story with complex characters and a griping plot.

When I read The Seven Year Dress, I was reminded of the slogan, “The personal is the political.” This novel is based on the true story of a Holocaust survivor, Helen. Through her story, from living a simple life of contentment with her family in Berlin to her horrifying interment in Auschwitz, I came to understand how seemingly distant political machinations can rain down on a person’s life, altering it in inconceivable ways. Conversely, moment-by-moment decisions of individuals (Helen, Ben, Max, Ester, to name but a few) impact the trajectory of their lives and the lives of countless others. The novel is both a tribute to Helen’s perseverance (the personal) and a reminder about what can happen to societies when hatred runs amok (the political).

The Seven Year Dress does something that, in my opinion, other novels and treatises on the Holocaust do not. Mahurin invites us into the most intimate thoughts, emotions, and desires of her protagonist and other characters with whom Helen shared her journey. The topic of intimacy is raised in a number of ways throughout the book. In this way, Mahurin imbues her characters and her novel with an authenticity I have rarely seen in these types of novels. She handles this area of human experience with delicacy, respect, and veracity. For example, Helen is a young woman who yearns for the comfort of a lover’s attention; instead she must find private ways to handle her needs because she is in hiding from the Nazis. Or her best friend who remains loyal to her, Max (a member of the Hitler Youth, then a full-fledged Nazi), is gay but only shares his secret with Helen. Before reading this novel, I never thought about any of the prisoners having (or wanting) a sex life or any of the Nazis having sexual secrets they needed to keep.

Did Mahurin set out to write a book simply to tell Helen’s story and write a book reminding us of the consequences of hatred combined with absolute power? Or did Mahurin set out to write a book about man’s inhumanity to man using Helen’s story as a vehicle and write a compassionate portrait of a cadre of commendable, unforgettable characters who taught me about living, hope, and love because of their suffering? Does it really matter? I’m just glad she wrote The Seven Year Dress and can’t wait for the next book!

DOGS RESCUED FROM SALES OF PAULETTE’S BOOKS

Goliath rescued

Goliath has been rescued

Goliath was rescued

Goliath’s freedom photo

Gordon's freedom photo.jpg

Gordon’s freedom photo

HARLEY'S BEEN RESCUED

Harley’s been rescued

Hermoine with her new dad

Hermoine with new daddy

Lawrence 1 y:o male chi with new mom

Lawrence smiling for new mom. Yes that is a smile.:-)

Louie the terrier's freedome photo.jpg

Louie’s freedom photo

Louie's been rescued

Louie before rescue, now happy in new home

Maurice's freedom photo wrapped in the arms of new dad.jpg

Maurice’s freedom photo

 

Mia's freedom photo-rescued by bichonrescuebrigade.org

Mia was rescued by the bichon rescue brigade. This is her freedom photo

Mia's before and after photos- now home sweet home.jpg

Mia’s before and after photos.

Missy's been saved.jpg

Missy is no longer fearful. She’s been rescued.

Neo getting loved on by new dad.jpg

Neo getting love from new dad

Neo's been rescued from the Downey Shelter.jpg

Neo’s rescue photo

Neo's freedom photos

Happy Neo and Proud Dad showing off his new boy’s papers

MORE PHOTOS TO COME. STAY TUNED.

ALL PROFITS FROM MY BOOKS GO TO RESCUE DOGS LIKE THESE FROM KILL SHELTERS

Posted in REVIEWS | 36 Comments

All I can say is “Wow”! What a beautifully written prose that touches upon one of the most heart-wrenching themes of the twentieth century – the Holocaust.

I’m deeply moved by this review and extremely thankful to the reader who took the time to write it. All profits from my books go to help get dogs out of kill shelters.
I’ll post again when the paperback is out. Meanwhile if anyone wants to purchase the kindle book please scroll down for the link:
on May 17, 2016
All I can say is “Wow”! What a beautifully written prose that touches upon one of the most heart-wrenching themes of the twentieth century – the Holocaust. Told from the point of view of a young Jewish girl, living in Berlin and witnessing Hitler coming to power, and slow and terrifying changes that her country starts going through, Helen still tries to follow her father’s advice and keep her optimism. However, with the Kristallnacht all her hopes shatter, and she finds herself on a long way to survival through the horrors of Auschwitz…
I couldn’t help but admire Helen’s willpower and desire to survive just to outlive her tormentors, yet trying her best to help her fellow inmates and not harden her heart in the conditions where one was ready to sell out anyone for a molded piece of bread. The brutal treatment of the inmates, together with the very rarely discussed subject of rape of Jewish inmates by the SS are accurately depictured in all their brutal honesty. Max’s story, a German boy who grew up with Helen and remained friends with her despite the new course that Germany took and his joining the Hitlerjugend and later the SS, was both touching and incredibly sad.
All in all, this is definitely a must-read for all fans of historical fiction. Brilliant!
Purchase link for The Seven Year Dress:
Purchase link for all my books:
Posted in REVIEWS | 22 Comments

Review from Romania: More than met my expectations

Book Review (LI) The Seven Year Dress

Blurb

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:

http://shadowspastmystery.blogspot.ro/2016/05/book-review-li-seven-year-dress.html

 

Posted in REVIEWS | 18 Comments

First Review of The Seven Year Dress from France: There are times reading the opening pages of a book when you know immediately something amazing awaits

The kindle book is out and I’m awaiting the proof for the paperback. A very kind reader read and reviewed my book. I’m humbled by this review. All profits from my books go to help get dogs out of kill shelters. I’ll announce when the paperback is out but for any of you who want to purchase the kindle book scroll down for the link after this review.

By jeanniell on May 16, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Verified purchase, Amazon fr
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:
Why?
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.

Posted in REVIEWS | 27 Comments

Thank you for the shout out on my book, To Live Out Loud

To Live Out Loud by Paulette Mahurin An innocent Jewish military officer, Alfred Dreyfus, was unjustly sentenced to life imprisonment on a desolate island. The news that could exonerate him was leaked to the press, but was suppressed by the military. Anyone who sought to reopen the Dreyfus court-martial became victimized and persecuted and was […]

via To Live Out Loud — The Writers’ Cooperative

Posted in REVIEWS | 16 Comments

INTRODUCING COVER FOR THE SEVEN YEAR DRESS

I’m thrilled that my soon to be released book, The Seven Year Dress, is in the final stages.

I received the cover design today and wanted to share it. And also to introduce you to Peter and Caroline O’Connor. They did this cover and the cover for “To Live Out Loud” and are a topnotch professional group based in the U.K. I wanted to share their website for anyone who might be looking for someone to do their cover design: http://bespokebookcovers.com/

As with all my other books, the profits from this one will go to help get dogs out of kill shelters. To date in 2016 we’ve helped get 37 dogs out of kill shelters. See a few of their photos below. More to follow with the release of my book in a couple of weeks.

 

FRONT COVER The Seven Year Dress KINDLE(1) copy.jpgBACK COVER The Seven Year Dress 9 May 2016 BACK copy.jpg

Benji, a little cautious, in her new garden.

Benji getting used to her new home

Benji's freedom photo

Benji’s freedom photo

Cindy's been rescued

Cindy’s been rescued

Cindy's freedom photo

Cindy’s freedom photo. What a difference love makes.

Joey's Freedom photo

Joey’s freedom photo

Max T- 12 y:o dumped in skill shelter cause owner moved

12 year-old Max’s freedom photo. What a handsome, happy boy.

Precious in her new home

Proud Precious’ freedom photo

A HEARTFELT THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PURCHASE MY BOOKS AND TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE A REVIEW OR SPREAD THE WORD. I AM TRULY GRATEFUL. SO ARE THE DOGGIES.

LINK TO PURCHASE MY BOOKS:

http://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO/

Posted in REVIEWS | 63 Comments

EXCELLENTY FICTIONALIZATION OF THE DREYFUS CASE

 I’m thrilled to receive this review and recognition from the Reader’s Favorite site. Great way to start the day: https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/to-live-out-loud
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To Live Out Loud
A Novel
by Paulette Mahurin
Fiction – Historical – Personage
172 Pages
Reviewed on 03/21/201

Book Review

Reviewed by Raanan Geberer for Readers’ Favorite

To Live Out Loud: A Novel by Paulette Mahurin is not only a novel, it’s a good primer on the Dreyfus case, a cause celebre in late 19th century France that highlighted the issue of French anti-Semitism. In To Live Out Loud, the story is told through an older family friend of the writer Emile Zola, who became the unofficial leader of those who thought that Captain Alfred Dreyfus was innocent of charges of spying for Germany. Briefly, although the actual evidence pointed to another officer, Ferdinand Esterhazy, the French Army apparently decided to make a scapegoat of Dreyfus, a Jew whose family came from Alsace – a region disputed between France and Germany. In To Live Out Loud, we hardly ever see Dreyfus himself. The focus is on Zola, who is soon accused of libel and put on trial himself after he publishes his famed open letter, “J’Accuse.”

While many people are familiar with the basics of the Dreyfus case, Paulette Mahurin tells you some details that the reader might not be aware of, such as the fact that Zola had to escape to England undercover because there were so many threats against him. She does a good job of depicting the anti-Semitic mob, both in the street and in the audience at the various trials themselves. She also shows how deference to authority was part of 19th century French society — while the narrator, Zola, and others in their circle were outraged at the miscarriages of justice and cover-ups in the Dreyfus affair, it took several years before Zola decided to “go public” with his opposition. In today’s world, the press would be all over the case from the beginning. All in all, To Live Out Loud is an excellent fictionalization of the Dreyfus case, which showed that even in “enlightened” France, Jews were not safe from bigotry.