Cover Image: Send For Me

Send For Me

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Member Reviews

historical fiction about intergenerational trauma around the Holocaust. what happens when a woman refugee can bring her daughter but not her mother to safety in America? overall an engaging read. further, SEND FOR ME is very much an 'own voices' story, as the author is the granddaughter of a refugee from Nazism AND the great-granddaughter of a Holocaust victim.
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This character-driven historical novel about the all-consuming love between mothers and daughters was beautifully written. I frequently read multi-generational books and find they add a richness to the story, but I found Annelisa’s seeming lack of concern for her parents to be bewildering. Many of the letters from her parents were like howls of grief and the heavy sense of desperation made it a foreboding read. I ghostwrite memoirs and I tell my clients to include some upbeat content no matter how tragic their story is. 

The biggest problem with the book, and largely responsible for the lower rating, was its length. It was too short for me to be invested in the characters, and the strangely abrupt ending left me feeling deflated. It was good, but not great.

I alternated between reading the ebook and listening to the audiobook, and the shifting points of view made the story hard to follow in audio format. The lack of chapter headings and cues like page breaks made me feel lost.
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This was a little difficult to follow as an audiobook. I wished I had a hard copy to go back and remind myself of the character's names. The jumping from present day to the beginning of WWII was not always smooth. The complicated relationships between mothers and daughters and how one generation affects another was well done. I was hoping for a change in the end with mother not being so selfish.
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Send For Me follows four generations of Jewish women from just ahead of WWII in Germany to modern day in America. The family history is heartwrenching mostly because you know how real this work of fiction is — especially after reading the author's note.

I really enjoyed this audiobook! But I thought the story was kinda slow and parceled together in just not the absolute best way.... but then learned that the letters featured in the book were the author's actual grandma's actual letters and I think I love the book way more now. Still, there could have been better or maybe more clear formatting for both the physical and audiobooks?
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*Note: I did not finish this book!*

Send for me was not what I expected it would be like. With no cohesive storyline, the chapters jumped from the past, present, and future tense with characters that interchanged — supposedly creating a narrative that will come together at the end (I hope, anyway). Honestly, it felt more like a compilation of short stories rather than a novel that was said to follow a young woman during WWII before fast-forwarding to her granddaughter in present-day America! There was no emotional connection! Just when I thought I understood the characters, the author would give away what would happen in the future! It was as though someone would enter a scene one minute, and the next, the readers were given a massive spoiler that made it pointless to continue the story!!

The audiobook definitely made things more confusing as there were no chapter titles or breaks between sections. The narrator flowed from one page to the next, causing me to lose which character was telling the story and what I was supposed to be understanding! Maybe the book is better? I don't know, but I will not spend more time trying to figure that out...

*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a pre-release copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are entirely my own!*
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I've never read anything by Fox, but the premise of this seemed different from the Holocaust WWII fiction that normally comes out. As such I was intrigued to read it. I love a story that has an echo of truth to it.

Annalise is a young Jewish woman living in Germany pre-WWII. She married and not long after must leave her home country and parents behind after an accusation threatens to harm her husband. Years later, her granddaughter, Clara, goes through her grandmother Annaliese's things after her death, piecing together Annelise's life. Her namesake, her great-grandmother, in her own letters, also tells some of their life, putting this family's story onto the page. 

Firstly, I did greatly enjoy the narrator for this. I, at first, though her voice was a little too lackadaisical, but as the story went on, she relayed emotion, especially grief, sadness, in a way that was incredibly tangible. It helped feel some of the things that the women were and weren't putting into words. I also just really ended up enjoying the sound of her voice. 

These women and their voices as characters was probably the best part of this story. I just felt like I was with them as they tried to understand what was going on in their country. I was with them as they grew frustrated with each other. I was feeling their sadness as they separated from one another by an ocean and a country. So much of what Annelise and her mother were feeling just felt so close to home on some level. Though, it couldn't be really.

I also felt really drawn to their story in general. There were many parts of it that weren't new. The Nazis, being Jewish and the persecution that came with it, and having to make choices in the face of these obstacles that will be painful and difficult.  The separation was different though. You don't see that give and take very often in WWII fiction. I think this spoke the most to me because I understand the separation and the pain that comes with it. I'll never understand it on the same level, but as someone who is separated by a country from my own mother, I know its difficulties. 

Knowing this was based on a true story was the icing on the cake. I just found myself moved by the magic of the real letters and real woman that inspired this story. Thank you for sharing your families' story.
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We all know the blueprint by now. 
WWII historical fiction. 
Alternating timelines that weave between characters in war-torn Europe and their grandchildren in the present. Said grandchildren stumble upon something that makes them want to connect more with that lineage and there you have the basic structure of Lauren Fox’s Send for Me. 

A notable deviation from the norm is that the earlier time period is not quite war-torn Europe, but rather Germany just prior to the war. Still, pretty much the exactly what you'd expect.

We follow young Annelise as she slowly begins to experience the spread of anti-Jewish sentiment that will of alter the course of her and her family’s lives forever. One scene in particular where her best friend essentially breaks up with her because of societal pressure is truly heartbreaking. I wish I could say I didn’t feel any connection between this part of the story and the prejudices of the world we live in today, but sadly it felt all too relatable and cautionary.

There are sentences in Send for Me that are beautiful and I enjoyed the granddaughter’s modern-day narrative as much as Annelise’s so why only 3 stars? 

Well, because for me it was a wisp of a novel that blew in and out of my life without much fanfare. At a mere 272 pages, I formed no attachment. I’ve sat on writing a review for a few days because, quite honestly, I’ve had to rally to care enough to do it. It’s a good book. A fine book. And that’s about all I got.
My apologies if you were as bored reading this review as I was writing it and my sincere gratitude to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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A very personal and generational story of a Jewish family caught up in the events preceding WW2. Fox used actual letters from her great- grandmother to shape this quiet story. Strong characterization along with examinations of mother - daughter bonds over the generations infuse the book with a tenderness, sorrow, and family strength.
Highly Recommended.
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Thank you, NetGalley for an advanced listener copy of Send For Me by Lauren Fox.
Send For Me is a novel that takes place across generations, following a Jewish family from the 1930s until the present day. The author switches between characters' points of view and was hard to follow, especially at the beginning. The author did a good job developing characters, but I found myself wanting more. I wanted to know more about the parents left in Germany, more about the relationship between Ruthie and Annelise, and more about Ruthie's connection to her grandparents in Germany. The ending of the story was very abrupt. I felt that the author just ended the story mid-thought with no real resolution. 
The narrator, Natasha Soudek, used different tones to portray different characters. However, the narration was very slow. I adjusted the speed to 1.25x and had no trouble following along. At the beginning of the story, it was difficult to understand which character was speaking and that the story was switching between generations. I feel that this book would be easier to read and follow in a print format.
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I was just approved for Send For Me this afternoon, and when I went to download it, it disappeared from my shelf.  Or so I thought, I looked it up by author and saw that it had already been archived.  If I get a chance to listen to. this I will come back and review.

thank you
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I’m so happy that @readwithjenna chose SEND FOR ME for February. It was an amazing read. I loved how raw and honest it was—the hope, the denied love, the secrets you allow others to keep. This is a World War II historical fiction like none other. It follows a young Jewish couple who were able to leave in time. Even though they were safe, there loved ones were not. They tried desperately to bring parents to America but were continuously denied as a result of paper work. How does this affect them and the descendants growing up in America?
SEND FOR ME begins in Germany just prior to WWII with alternating time lines that weave together characters in war torn Germany and their grandchild and great grandchild in present day. Four generations of women tell the story of family, love and the trauma of WWII. The reader mainly follows Annelise as she grows up in a bakery, finds love, and then slowly experiences anti-Jewish sentiment from those she once called neighbor and friend. In one scene, her childhood friend ends their friendship because of societal pressure and her husband’s wish to stay “clean”. In another, soldiers pressure customers to not frequent the family bakery. Eventually, she must leave Germany and her family to save her husband. In present day, Annalise’s granddaughter Claire is struggling to find her own happiness when she finds a collection of letters written by Klara. Klara writes about her hope of joining Annalise in America. These letters will slowly break your heart as her hope turns into desperation. The emotions and stories throughout SEND FOR ME will leave you thinking about this book for a long time to come.
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Thanks to NetGalley for this advance listening copy.
Yet another WWII historical fiction, and just when you think all of the stories have been told, there is another. These are important tales to tell, however.
This book is already in print and was Jenna Bush Hager’s book club selection, which made me curious to read it. It also spent time in the best seller list, and the audiobook was short, so another thing on its side.
I am glad I read the jacket line before reading, and again a few chapters in, because it was slightly confusing in audio. I didn’t really catch on to the letters from Clara until I did. The narrator was excellent, but this book would have been better served with another reader to clarify the three generations of women’s and men portrayed. The narrator did a wonderful job otherwise. 
Once I was over my confusion, the book was a good listen. No graphic accounts of nazi Germany as in many language or sexual situation that would keep me from recommending this book to my patrons. Some mentioned the abrupt ending but I was fine with lit let me to possibilities of what would come next.
As with many of these books, the authors notes are worth a listen too.
3..5* rounded up to 4 * for the audiobook.
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This gorgeous book is a fresh look at the immigrant generations of survivors of  WWII. It falls just shy of heartbreaking and doesn’t quite go far enough, deep enough, yet it’s true to the purpose stated above, so in that sense it is remarkable. Written by a gifted storyteller, and about a subject very near to her heart, she helps us care about this multi-generational family and how they are still scarred by what happened. And yet they are open to love, even if they don’t know what to do with it. Somehow though, they must find a way.
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This story takes place in Germany right before the start of WWII. We get to see the how the horrible treatment of the Jewish residents began. The closing of businesses, alienating residents and blatant discrimination on the streets to name a few.  This is the story of a family that is divided when the daughter, her husband and infant daughter flee to the United States.  Letters between the mother and daughter are heartbreaking, especially since these are actual letters that the author discovered from her own family’s past. The novel similarly jumps to the present day Milwaukee where the grand daughter also discovers the letters and sees for herself what pain the separation caused. 

This is a great story but I felt that it just skimmed the surface. I wanted to know more about the family, if that had happened I feel that I would have been more invested in the characters. I feel that there was so much more to tell. The audiobook was difficult. I had to speed it up because the narrator spoke very slowly. It was also very difficult to determine who was who and what timeline I was in as the narrator had the same tone throughout. This is a case where I feel the actual book would be better than the audiobook. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
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This wasn't a bad book; it was a good book. It wasn't a great book. The multigenerational WWII historical fiction pattern of jumping timelines was predictable, but enjoyable. The ending was abrupt, and not in an austerely artistic way, in my opinion. The saving grace of this book for me came in the author's note at the end. I wish I had known that this was based on findings of letters written by her family members, and then some of the mundaneness and lack of action would have just been more interesting than boring. Maybe an introduction would would add to the intrigue for readers. I liked this book enough to finish listening to it, but I just wish there had been... more.
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This is a beautiful story read with a gentle voice which captivates readers into the story, but also soothes over the very hard truths of the subject matter. Woven into the story are letters discovered by a granddaughter from her great grandmother written to her grandmother many years ago, detailing the unbreakable bond and unwavering love between a mother and daughter. Set against a backdrop of WWII in Germany and then in present day Wisconsin, this is a story that is powerful and beautiful, albeit heartbreaking at times.
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I have given this book four stars but wish I could do 3.5 stars. I feel this book was hard to follow until I figured out the family dynamics and who was who. I also feel that the story had a lot of loose ends and ended abruptly.
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In 1930’s Germany, Annelise is looking forward to a bright future, working at her family’s bakery, marrying and starting a family. The anti Jewish sentiment, however is growing, as old friends disappear and vandalism hits their home and business. Annelise and her family have the chance to escape to America, but Annelise’s parents must remain behind. Their lives almost certainly in jeopardy.Years later, Annelise’s granddaughter Clare uncovers a stash of letters written by her grandmother and realizes the magnitude of the sacrifice her family made. While Clare has difficult decisions of her own to make, they pale in comparison to those of her grandmother. A heartbreaking story of one of history’s biggest tragedies
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It took me a little while to get into the story but it is pretty good once it gets going. I think this one is going to be a big hit with the book club set. A very touching story!
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Trigger warning: antisemitism

"How come the Germans want them gone, but make it impossible for them to leave?"

Annelise dreams of better things than working in her parents' bakery for the rest of her life. Even a husband and children, whenever they arrive, will not save her -- she will always end up back in the bakery when her children are old enough.

But then Annelise's life becomes more difficult. A life-long friend shuns her, a brick hurls through her window, and customers desert the bakery. Although she isn't very religious, Annelise is a Jew. Sentiment towards people with Jewish ancestry continues to crumble in the days leading up to World War II.

Annelise is lucky enough to obtain passage to America before the war breaks out but must leave her parents behind. She finds comfort in her young daughter, Ruthie, on the long journey.

The story follows four generations of a family as their lives change from content to fearful. It's easy for the younger generations to forget the troubles of their older relatives. Clare's story pales in comparison to that of her grandmother.

The narration switches between Annelise and Clare and occasionally switches points of view to Annelise's father, mother, or husband, which makes the story hard to follow in audio format. The lack of chapter headings and cues like page breaks also contributes to the feeling of being lost in one long story.

Natasha Soudek conveys emotions well in her narration. Her reading of Clare sounds more modern and helps distinguish between the two women.

Recommended for fans of family sagas and World War II fiction.
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