Leave to Live

One can live as a ghost waiting for death or at least struggle to live. There is a child that had to be a refugee to prevent being captivated in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. There is a child that has to take refuge from the coercion of the government and poverty. There is also a child sick of wars and battles, trying to seek refuge. The Refugee portrays the journeys of three main characters leaving their dangerous homeland to a safer country. There are three different perspectives used in the story: Josef, Mahmoud, and Isabelle’s points of view. The novel gives a surprising twist at the end when it connects the three main characters’ relationships over decades.

The story renders a realistic background, emotions, and problems that emerged during the historical events. Overall, the novel had a dark and gloomy mood that further dramatized the intensity and tension of the story. For instance, throughout their journeys, Josef was preoccupied with the thought of manhood and security. His constant contemplated thoughts added to the dark atmosphere.

Alan Gratz, the New York Times bestselling author of novels for young adults, wrote the book. The Refugee is a historical fiction between the 20th century and 21st century, and it consists of a diary. The book is highly recommended for those interested in the period of dominance by Nazi Germany, Fidel Castro’s communist regime, or the Syrian Civil War.

By: Minjung Kwon