This is my blood, this is my song. In the early 1940s in Czechoslovakia, Rafael Ullmann and his family are sent to Terezin, the so-called model ghetto for Jewish artists. In the 1970s in Canada, Annie Ullmann lives a predictable, lonely life on a prairie with her reclusive father and deaf-dumb mother.
Thirty years later, in Australia, Joe Hawker is uncertain about himself and his future. Told across three continents and time-lines, This Is My Song is a symphony encouraging us to find our own music.
This story spans three generations and three continents and is compelling reading. Rafael is our first story, set during WWII. Rafael and his family are sent to Terezin, the horrific Nazi prison, because they are Jewish.
Rafael’s daughter Annie is the second story, set in Canada as she struggles with life on the prairie and who she really is.
Annie’s son Joe is the final character, and he is growing up in Australia. When his grandfather Rafael dies they find out about his early life and struggles. Joe also finds a song and the link between the three generations is complete.
This is beautifully written with the words at times leaping off the page to tug at your heartstrings. It also makes you wonder about humans capacity for cruelty. At the same time, you will marvel at the beauty to be found in the simplest of things and the inner strength people can find within.
Perfect for both boys and girls, and a great book for discussion, as the characters try and find their place in the world. With the interwoven plots, it is easy to find some point in the story to relate to. Beautifully crafted, you will find this book very hard to forget.
Reviewed by Michelle