RIVKA’S WAR by Marilyn Oser
This book should have been really interesting. What is not to like – a teenage girl leaves her prosperous home to “save” her brother from the influence of the Bolsheviks in 1914 and ends up joining the Russian Army in the first all-girl battalion and becomes the companion of a notorious counter revolutionary fleeing for her life. Eventually Rivka finds her way to Palestine.
Except, it just wasn’t very engaging. Rivka was not very sympathetic. She seemed to have no real reason for joining the army. Her brother had no reason for becoming a Bolshevik, just as he never gave a reason for failing to commit to his Jewish faith after his triumph of a BarMitzvah. Yashka, the counter revolutionary beloved by “her girls” was not at all likeable. I didn’t care if she lived or died and certainly wouldn’t have joined her army.
There was a lot of history, but it was boring! There are a lot better books out there. I’ll read them! The one episode that was interesting was with Dudie, the child Rivka “adopts” but is taken from her. Too bad more of the book didn’t involve his story!