Frightening Historical Fiction

Kim van Alkemade has written a historical fiction novel inspired by true events.  It is 1919, and we meet 4 year-old Rachel Rabinowitz and her 6 year-old brother, Sam.  Tragedy strikes the family, and the pair find themselves orphaned.  The two are split up.  Rachel is sent to the Hebrew Infant Home while her brother is sent to the orphanage.  At the Hebrew Infant Home, Rachel is subjected to cruel medical experiments over the course of two years.  She is repeatedly given X-ray treatments to help support Dr. Mildred Solomon’s research.  After the two years, she is sent to the orphanage with her brother.  Though she is safe from the experiments, her life does not get easier, she has many side effects from the experiments and finds herself a misfit in the orphanage.

It is now 1954, and Rachel has become a nurse.  Her latest patient is Dr. Mildred Solomon.  All the memories of the experiments become fresh in her mind, and she realizes the power she now holds over the doctor.

A must-read.  Powerful, intense, shocking, and sad.

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Filed under adult, fiction

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