Book Review: Hadmar: The House of Shudders by Jason K Foster

Add Hadamar: House of Shudders to your Goodreads TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47167720-hadamar—the-house-of-shudders?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=uatbw2oSZU&rank=2

Don’t forget to check out my fellow reviewer’s thoughts on Hadamar by following along with the tour schedule here:

Purchase Links:

Booktopia:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/hadamar-jason-k-foster/book/9781925675863.html

Amazon AU:

Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction

Page Count: 415

Published in 2019 by Big Sky Publishing

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis:

Nazi Germany is ruled by Hitler’s barbaric policies of racial cleansing. Ingrid Marchand’s only sin was to be born black.

Horrifying institutions like Hadamar are where the undesirables – including the mentally and physically disabled and children – are systematically tortured, gassed and executed. It is where Ingrid is humiliated and brutalised and will encounter a depth of hatred the world has never seen before.

On the brink of starvation, can Ingrid survive the horrors of her incarceration and help bring her tormentors to justice?

Hadamar is a gripping tale of survival in a world of hatred, horror and insanity.

My Review:

A huge thank you to my lovely team members over at @AusYABloggers for having me on this review tour for Hadamar: House of Shudders and providing me with a copy of this book to read and review as part of the tour, all thoughts are my own.

It’s hard not to be moved by any Historical Fiction, reading about how some people were treated so abonmidally and disgustingly based on their race, Hadamar was definitely no exception. The main character, as we learn from her flasback narrative, was subjected to such horrors that shouldn’t have ever been inflicted on anyone! All because they are considered abnormalities, whether because they were born with an illness or in Ingrid’s case, her skin colour! Born and raised in Germany, but also dark skinned from her Father.

What is wrong with that? Absolutely nothing! But to the Gestapo, her Mother was a whore and indecent for sleeping with him! Honestly, I felt absolutely horrified and disgusted at what Ingrid and her fellow inmates of The House of Shudders went through. I must admit, whilst I am a bit of a history enthusiast, turns out I didn’t know about the titular House of Shudders, where children were murdered based on their conditions and anything that was outside of the ideal Aryan race.

I think though, well, for me, what was so impactful and worked brilliantly in terms of conveying Ingrid’s story was that it was indeed mostly told as a flashback, recounted to a young woman who had just lost her beloved grandfather, who mutters about The House of Shudders fleetingly. So, knowing Ingrid did indeed survive these utterly inhumane horrors was indeed amazing and of course I admired her strength and courage throughout. I mean, she gives up her shares of the meager portions of food in the hope to save more lives! She’s subjected to so many horrors herself, but is saved by one Doctor Oppenheimer, who of course had his own little agenda and I was never really sure if he could be trusted! Although, he definitely proved more likeable than the beastly staff that literally performed monstrous executions on these poor people! What did they do? Absolutely nothing! They so did not deserve it, they couldn’t help being born how they were!

Okay, as you’re reading this, you may be thinking why only 3 stars?

Well, there’s a few reasons, really. Whilst I absolutely commend Jason K Foster for so powerfully and graphically conveying this period of history, bringing it to life so horrifically yet so vividly, there were personally just a few hiccups that I found with this book: *mild spoilers below*

Ingrid becomes infatuated with Johan, a former heroic Nazi soldier whom took a tragic fall in battle and found himself in the throes of Hadamar. In turn, Ingrid also grows close to Mia, a young girl with epilepsy, but she’s carrying a secret that is potentially more dangerous. For Mia is also a Jewish girl! When Ingrid sees Mia and Johan kiss, she’s instantly enraged and guess what? She reports to the Head Nurse that they have a Jewish girl in Hadamar! Mia, she who had gone undetected as a Jewish young woman for so long, who, in my opinion, would have been slaughtered more likely for her condition, is carted off to a Concentration Camp! All because Ingrid is enraged that her best friend and crush kiss! I seriously felt like this was a bit much, because, given everything that Ingrid had been cruelly subjected to, she feels personally hurt by Mia and Johan tries to say that his arms were only around her for trying to push her off! Like, really? It just seems so unnecessary and childish!

However, I was definitely moved again when Hadamar House was uncovered for all the horrors that its Doctors and Nurses inflicted on patients, Ingrid having to recount every agonising detail to the American Officials who discovered Hadamar as the torture house that it was! Seeing the staff of Hadamar brought to justice though, was so satisfying! Although of course nothing they were served came close to the horrors they inflicted and the lives that were so cruelly taken!

If you enjoy Historical Fiction, then I definitely recommend Hadamar: House of Shudders!

Happy Reading,

Brooklyn

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