Friday, January 22, 2016

The Hours Count- Book Review

The Hours Count
By Jillian Cantor

The Hours Count, is a different kind of novel. I have read historical fiction before. But, this is quite different. Perhaps because it is contemporary. What makes this different, I think. I have never read anything that is historical fiction that is mainly about a relationship of two women.  Yes, I have read historical ficiton. It is usually about the events surrounding the book, not characters. This makes this story more intriguing and different.

The author did change the facts around. My suggestion after you read the book. You should do your own research. I found interesting things on youtube about the Rosenberg trials and executions.
The story makes a interesting read. I always wondered why would someone leave behind their children because of the strong politcal convictions? Why were there U. S. Citizens that would betray their own country? Why did the US government allow a woman to be executed? Putting fear of communism being infiltrated in the United States. I never thought there were spies in the United States. I thought it was a joke. Think of the show, The Americans

I remember as a young child stories of the bomb shelter,bomb drills at school, I used to think how ridiculous this was. After taking this part of history more seriously. I now understand this. After WW2 there was a communism threat. The United States government tired to scare the Americans to death by using fear. The book makes you wonder who is a spy? Who is a communist?

Did you know just like sleeper cells that are in the United States? Yes there are sleeper cells. The Russian government had spies in different parts of government. Who would have suspected. Until it is too late. If you have not seen the documentary on Nova about spies, and the atomic bomb. If you are interested in the subject. The biggest thing was a young American scientist that was spying for the Russian and volunteered information. Would you believe he was seeking out someone in the Russian government. Can you believe that??

After the Russian government built the hydrogen bomb. The Russian spies leaked out the information to Russia. The bomb wouldn't have been built if American spies were helping the Russians. This caused so much fear and political turmoil. Forced the government to be harsh. Unfortunately, Ethel Rosenberg was in the crossfires and the scapegoat.

McCarthyism, causing the government to be harsh, and aggressive. Now, the irrational search was on to find the spies. No one could be trusted.

The Hours Count starts with the first sentence, "On the Night Ethel is suppose to die, the air is heavy to breathe".

Ethel, and Julius are first born Jewish Americans. Ethel has a wonderful relationship with her husband and children. Where Millie's husband is questionable. There are many suspicious and unanswered questions.

Who can you trust.The situation with Ed are starting to get suspicious. There is also a love interest between Millie and David's doctor, Jake. Can he be trusted? There are many twists and turns I didn't suspect at all.

The author took liberties to embellish the story. The author did a good job blended fiction with facts. What Ed did, and tried to do. I'm afraid to tell you anything more.  Just to tell you it is worth the read.

The book also brings back nostalgia about our social, and political culture during the 1950's. The pill, planned parenthood, mentally challenged, feminism, psychiatry, husband-wife relationships.

The Hours Count will make great discussion for your book club. I promise you heated.
The book doesn't merit a great prize of fiction. Though, it is a wonderful read to entertain and discuss
the political scare and turmoil of the 1950's.

The Hours Count: Jewish Grand Strand Reads

The Hours Count
By Jillian Cantor

After doing a google search for a novel, and pretty much gave up this year. I found a novel, on the Jewish Book Coucil's website. It was about the Rosenberg's. Already this novel, had me hooked even before I reached the first page. I had heard about them. Only knew they were Jewish, and both husband and wife were executed.  I was young then. Didn't understand the implications. As I got older. I realized why this was important. This is still a hot topic. Why, you ask? The start of the Cold War, The wall between E. Germany and W. Germany. The Manhatten Project, Los Alamos,

Personally as a young child I didn't think this was a big deal. But now, years later I realize the implications. The race to make the bomb first. Interesting enough the Russian's build the first bomb first, the Hydrogen bomb. How did this happen? The U.S was embarrassed how this came about first. The United States governement tried to find anyone with information. Who they found was David Greenglass, Ethel Rosenberg's brother. This started the ball rolling. He accused both husband and wife of spying for the United States government. It was found out much later he was protecting his wife. There were plenty of American citizens that wanted to tell Russia what the United States was doing. There were scientists that were spying for the Russian government. Then came McCarthyism. Famous people loosing their reputation, because of the trials. One specific person was Lucille Ball. She was accused, but luckily her reputation was affected. Later on though it didn't ruin her. She was the lucky ones.

I asked the question, why would anyone betray their own government? What I got was people telling me. People were tired of the U. S. government. You are probably wondering why I thought this was important? Because reflecting back on our history. With terrorism with Al-Queda-ISIS. People were scared of the 1950's. Who would have ever guessed we would be in this situation. They are a mass of people,( a man without a country), there isn't a country represented. Instead of mass of terrorists terrorizing us. How did this happen compared to what happened in the 1950's. Russia, a country may build a bomb.  We are not as worried about them as we are about ISIS. It is so ironic that Russia and US have a different kind of worries.

I started thinking this would be a bouncing off board from the novel to discuss the political climate. I know I am right. I brought this book up with my book club. There was already heated conversation. No one read the book yet, except for me. I can't imagine what heated conversation this is going to start when we actually read the book, and skype the author. Even if the book is not great. It is a wonderful springboard for discussion.

It was decided in conjuction with Jewish Grand Strand Reads and Hadassah Carolina Mizrah with a combined effort will come together to host a skyping program. Also we will be hosting a documentary that was directed and produced by Ethel and Julius Rosenberg''s grand daughter called, Heir to the Execution.  If you live in Myrtle Beach area. You are welcome to join us.

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