➪ The Rabbit Girls Read ➲ Author Anna Ellory – Thomashillier.co.uk

The Rabbit Girls Berlin, As The Wall Between East And West Falls, Miriam Winter Cares For Her Dying Father, Henryk When He Cries Out For Someone Named Frieda And Miriam Discovers An Auschwitz Tattoo Hidden Under His Watch Strap Henryk S Secret History Begins To UnravelSearching For Clues Of Her Father S Past, Miriam Finds An Inmate Uniform From The Ravensbr Ck Women S Camp Concealed Among Her Mother S Things Within Its Seams Are Dozens Of Letters To Henryk Written By Frieda The Letters Reveal The Disturbing Truth About The Rabbit Girls , Young Women Experimented On At The Camp And Amid Their Tales Of Sacrifice And Endurance, Miriam Pieces Together A Love Story That Has Been Hidden Away In Henryk S Heart For Almost Fifty YearsInspired By These Extraordinary Women, Miriam Strives To Break Through The Walls She Has Built Around Herself Because Even In The Darkest Of Times, Hope Can Survive


10 thoughts on “The Rabbit Girls

  1. says:

    This centers around Miriam who is the present day character, so than focusing on the past and Henryk Miriam is not only given chapters than Henryk, but her chapters are also notably longer The dictation of Miriam s chapters typically either focus on her repetitive inquiry into the letters she found that are related to her father Henryk or her personal life and the problems that she has with her abusive husband Henryk s chapter s typically focus on his own marital problems rather than the historical context that he experienced.This being said, only about 15% of the story was of historical relevance There was nothing historically integrated that was new information The rabbit girls , or the guinea pigs who were experimented on, have been given voices through other novels The details about them were not elaborate either.The beginning was very slow to start The story only starts to pick up around 40% of the book, but still Miriam s chapters continued to hold back the story The story starts out with Miriam s father, Henryk, calling out an unknown name Frieda on his deathbed So, Miriam makes it her goal to find this person before her father dies An overdone opening scene in my opinion Nevertheless, I only kept reading to see the mystery unfold about Frieda, which is why I gave it 2.5 stars instead of 2 stars Unfortunately, Frieda s story was overshadowed by Miriam s narratives.


  2. says:

    The book had a slow start and I found the plot was convoluted and difficult to follow at times Towards the end things moved fast and it started to make sense The isolated moments began to fit together.


  3. says:

    If you ve just picked this one as your August Prime First Read then you are in for a treat eventually The first quarter of this book is slow really slow and I wondered if I d made a mistake in choosing it That said, once it gets going, it s as if it s a completely different book.Two characters tell their stories directly Miriam and her father Henryk and a third tells hers via letters hidden inside the seams and pockets of an inmate s uniform from one of Germany s concentration camps The book opens in Berlin with one of the most important liberations of Germany s 20th Century the destruction of the Berlin wall and the eruption of Eastern Germans rushing into their divided city It s focus though is on the abuse and eventual liberations of the death camps at the end of the Second World War and the life of people in those camps under the administration of the Nazis Oppression of all sorts is to the fore throughout the book although we re just getting stuck into life under the Nazis both outside and inside the camps when we realise that the modern story of oppression is Miriam s domination by her husband Axel a classic case of what we now call coercive control The juxtaposition of the two forms of menace is very powerful As readers we can hope for nothing different from the past but we can continue to hope for some kind of redemption in the present tense of the book.Miriam finds an Auschwitz tattoo on her father s wrist, under his watchband and he starts calling out for Frieda I nearly gave up at this point as I ve seen a lot of photos of Auschwitz tattoos and they were never neat little wrist tattoos More typically they were sprawling characters on the outer or inner forearm This had me doubting the likely veracity of the rest of the book but once things got moving, I soon forgot The point of the revelation of the tattoo is that we re supposed to believe that Henryk NEVER told his daughter that he d been in the camp He wasn t a Jew or a gypsy so Miriam wonders why he was there As readers, we know because we re reading Henryk s thoughts about Frieda, the girl he loved and for whom he risked his marriage and lost his career.Enlisting the help of an elderly woman called Eva, Miriam gets her to translate the letters she finds in the dress which have been written in French Oddly, the book presents all of these letters both the French and German ones in chronological order which seemed rather convenient to me Clearly, Eva is controlling the release of the information to Miriam and to the rest of us.Meanwhile, as Miriam learns about the woman her father once loved, she s trying to escape from the man she no longer loves her husband and abuser, Axel He s a controlling and violent man who has built a network of lies to support the image of his wife as weak, insane and unable to look after herself Can learning of the courage of others so many years before help Miriam to find her own courage to say No to Axel Not everything rings true the watchstrap incident in particular and I had a lot of doubts about how the dress came to be in Henryk s possession with the letters still hidden after 45 years The ending ties everything together very nicely though and is very well done One thing I don t agree with at all is the positioning of the book via the blurb and the title as being about the rabbit girls of the concentration camps These women were experimented upon by doctors in the camps who gave them less respect or care than a vivisection rabbit And yet, from the point of view of the story, they are a really tiny aspect of a much broader discussion Anybody with a morbid interest in the abuse of inmates in that way should probably find another book and I consider it a shame that the book is being promoted in this way Perhaps we re supposed to view Miriam as a rabbit girl in her own right, abused by her husband for 20 years, but I suspect I m attempting to force fit a title to a book It s a love story and a story of somebody finding her strength to fight back with the help of an unexpected friend just as her father s once lover finds the strength to survive in the camps through the comradeship of other women Once I d got through the first 25 30% of the book, I found it really interesting and put everything else on hold to get the book finished.


  4. says:

    Really two and a half stars for this I thought the focus would be on the women in Ravensbruck and their stories, but Miriam s story overshadowed it I never could understand what Miriam s mental problem was, although I skimmed some parts I could ve missed it I thought she may be an unreliable narrator, in that she seemed to be delusional and seemed to have hallucinations Why did she tolerate her abusive husband And what is the ultimate connection to Freida s story I just hurried through to get to the ending of this sometimes confusing and convoluted book A disappointment.


  5. says:

    I picked this book as my first reads for August, not really expecting too much and then not able to stop reading It s a story that will stay with me.


  6. says:

    I picked up The Rabbit Girls as part of First Reads The thing that caught my attention was the setting in Berlin as the wall between East and West falls I think this is an interesting part of history and I d like to make a conscious effort to read set in this time period However, as this book is like three stories and three time periods wrapped into one, the Berlin Wall setting got lost on me a little bit.The Rabbit Girls tells the story Miriam caring for her dying father, Henryk, in the present day as the Berlin Wall falls One day, Miriam discovers an Auschwitz tattoo hidden under her father s watch strap which leads her to finding a bunch of letters to Henryk from a woman named Frieda.The chapters alternate between Miriam s life in the present day and Henryk s past Interspersed throughout Miriam s chapters are also Frieda s letters For some reason, Miriam s chapters are written in third person whereas Henryk s chapters are in first person I found this a bit jarring at first if I m being honest but got used to it the I read.There is a lot going on in this story and perhaps it would have been effective if just one thing was focussed on Miriam herself has a traumatic past with a manipulative husband She is then surprised to find out her father was in Auschwitz Surprisingly, Henryk s chapters detail his time before and after the concentration camp rather than during Frieda s letters to Henryk outline her time in concentration camps and brings to light stories of the rabbit girls women who were used as medical experiments at Ravensbruck concentration camp The title suggests that these rabbit girls would be a central pillar of the story but I don t think it was really delved into that deeply Miriam was definitely the star of the show.Overall I liked the story but there was so much going on that I found it hard to appreciate each of the character s struggles I also found some of the dialogue a bit clunky The premise was great and I definitely think there will be other readers who enjoy The Rabbit Girls a lot.


  7. says:

    Haunting taleThe Rabbit Girls tells the story of Miriam who goes to care for her dying father Henryk in Berlin in the days following the fall of the wall that has divided the city since the 1960s It has the claustrophobic feeling of being in the intense situation of caring for someone who is terminally ill, where outside events are viewed as being almost unreal Against the backdrop of caring for Henryk, we also find the story of Miriam s parents during the Second World War when she discovered the concentration camp tattoo hidden under Henryk s watchstrap Told through letters she finds hidden in her dead mother s wardrobe, we are lead through the dark days of wartime Germany There are three interwoven threads going through this book the immediate caring for a dying man, the horrific tale of the camps, and the story of Miriam s abusive marriage It can be a challenging book to read, but I couldn t put it down And bleak though the subject matter is, there is an underlying optimism coming from the fall of the wall and its promise of new beginnings.I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a mystery, unless you are vulnerable through bereavement when it may feel too real The threads of the story kept me in turn horrified and intrigued, but always wanting to find out The characters have stayed with me, which is recommendation in itself.


  8. says:

    Past and present prisonsThe cruel human heart is capable of unspeakable crimes In The Rabbit Girls, survival was made possible through sacrifice until liberation came The author does a fine job weaving together three significant events, the Holocaust, a mind controlling abusive marriage and the re joining of Berlin when the wall fell What is truth is a common theme as Miriam learns through a series of letters the truth about her family What truth will Miriam accept from her abusive husband Is it too much to believe Frieda might escape certain death in the death camps of WWII Will her father escape his own tortured mind as he struggles with the truth of what his hands did as a slave to the Nazi regime


  9. says:

    Superb writingI only chose this book because it was on offer After reading just a few pages I was hooked, and would have happily paid the full price to read The book draws you into the characters from the beginning, and doesn t waste time or words in painting the scenes before you Yes, it is a difficult read in parts, but that is to be expected given the subject How one nation could divide itself , with such cruelty, persecution and destruction Never to be forgotten


  10. says:

    Awesome, wonderful, heartbreakingSo well written that I was transported in time and place to Ravensbruck and Berlin both before and after the wall came down I felt Miriam s pain and her joy at the freedoms she found by reading the letters Waiting along with her to give her father peace The great bond she had with her father, another bond she develops with Eva and her uincredible bond with Hani fly off the pages and into my heart.This book will stay with you for a long time