Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Children of the Catastrophe by Sarah Shoemaker is a heartbreaking historical novel. Inside, I met a Greek family who go through one tragedy right into another tragedy. The story itself focuses on one young girl, Liana. Her coming out is scorned by many who think her thin frame and small hips are not perfect for birthing. Yet, somehow, Liana finds strength and love. She even has a family of her own. War and danger bring tragedy and risks to her family. Liana loses those she loves and those who love her. Her children are in danger of being taken, killed, and worse. Liana decides to be strong and escape while they can. Only their escape tragically leads to more loss and heartbreak.
Sarah Shoemaker brilliantly creates a novel that pulls in the reader. I find myself falling deeper into the story with every page. The cast of characters remind me of the Greek family from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. That family was large, noisy, and set on keeping the Greek traditions. It is very much like that of Liana’s own family. The characters are strong, fierce, and very opinionated. I enjoy following these protagonists as their journeys developed. The challenges they all face made the tale more realistic. It made me feel as though I were experiencing it all firsthand. The beginning and ending were my favorite parts. Sarah Shoemaker made me laugh and cry so hard. Plus, the epic heartbreaking scene of a child watching his family die is an unforgettable horror that will stay with me forever.
Overall, Children of Catastrophe is a mesmerizing journey. Themes of family, life, love, grief, and loss are throughout the book. Each of the themes built upon each other. The Demirgis family is the type of family that shows what real love and sacrifice is. For those who love reading The Fault in Our Stars and love emotionally charged historicals, this is the novel to read! I am eager to read more books by the talented Sarah Shoemaker. Her writing is a pleasure to read.
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GBC Reader Reviews
Hated this book. If it had been nonfiction, I could have handled it. But it’s fiction, for God’s sake! Why such a horrible, horrible ending?!
I’ll definitely not look for any of her other books!