Bound by the Scars We Share
by Vivien Churney
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 7 May 2021 | Archive Date 2 Aug 2021
In 1930s Antwerp, having fled a pre war Poland with her family, Zoshia, a young Jewish girl, battles to survive intense persecution from the Nazis and bravely endangers her own life in order to help save others.
During the war years, Grace, a young teenager, suffers severe personal abuse at the hands of her family in Lyme Regis, England and courageously tries to overcome the repercussions. As adults, both Zoshia and Grace face personal struggles as they try to recover from their traumatic experiences.
This unique and exquisite tale of two women from different backgrounds, juxtaposes both their lives as they each journey through the decades, over coming tragedy and anguish from World War II onwards. This gripping narrative chronicles the injurious plight of women in an age of gender inequality, demonstrates the disastrous effects of war, human cruelty and exploitation, and dynamically showcases the power of female friendship.
A Note From the Publisher
Vivien Churney is based in Liverpool. A retired English teacher, she adores literature and has an extreme sense of pleasure that she has now had the time to create her own. This is her debut.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 24 members
Set In 1930s Poland. This gripping story was life! I am really starting to get into these types of genres! This book was so beautifully written I couldn't stop reading it! I actually was intrigued by the characters so strong willed and awesome! Such an amazing book to read!
This book is beautifully written with two very moving stories that are written in parallel with each other. The author seamlessly interweaves the narrative between them with absolutely not confusion for the reader. Well written, characters developed well I would highly recommend.
WOW. This was devastatingly beautiful. I loved the way this book made me think for days. The ending was bittersweet. One of my favorite reads this year.
Disclaimer: This book is an e-book ARC given to me through NetGalley by Matador (Troubador Punlishing) in exchange for my honest opinions. While I held great hopes for this book, it did not quite meet my expectations. The stories of the two ladies were told through differing POV chapters. I was intrigued because I love reading war stories, but it felt like too wide of a time span covered. The ladies's intertwining did not even happen until close to the end of the story. It was a good read, but not memorable or one that I plan to come back to again. I do appreciate the pretty cover and the depth of some parts of the story. I also enjoyed the clean writing and the incorporation of real war events such as the Nuremburg Trials. Trigger Warnings: Attempted sexual assault, depression an anxiety, abuse and neglect, genocide
"Bound by the Scars We Share" by Vivien Churney is a touching novel about two women who have struggled through a tumultuous, life-changing time period, oppression, sexism, and a complicated family relationship. It's hard to say a novel like this is "enjoyable" when it focuses on triggering and emotional topics. The experiences the women in this novel go through are heartbreaking and how they managed to survive through it all is a miracle. Churney highlights the impact of the war on two women with different backgrounds living in different countries. The story takes readers through the life of Grace and Zoshia as children all the way until they are elderly women, depicting the unpleasant situations they ended up in as well as some of the lighter, happier moments of their lives. Though this is a tough and emotional read, these two women lead interesting lives that are informative of the ways in which prejudice, racism, and misogyny were very prevalent in their society. It's a story that will make one's blood boil with anger as they read about the inequality they've faced, the effects of the war, and human cruelty. Yet they will also smile at the rare moments of human companionship, overcoming impossible situations, and the power of friendship. This is a stunning novel that, despite the tough themes running throughout, is a story that will resonate with many. "Bound by the Scars We Share" is out now and available for purchase. Pick up this novel and give it a read! A huge thank you to both NetGalley and Matador for providing me with a free e-arc of this novel and the opportunity to share my honest opinion in this review.
The tale of two women born into very different environments during the first half of the 20th Century. One living in Antwerp, having fled a pre war Poland, battling to survive Nazi persecution, and the other surviving a different sort of persecution at the hands of her family. The stories of these two amazing women follows their lives from teens in the 1930's up until pretty much present day. Their lives are intertwined only by their shared experiences and the strength that they both have to survive. This was beautifully written. The stories of Zoshia and Grace show the heroics needed by two ordinary women to simply live life. If someone was to ask me what happened in the book I would struggle to pinpoint one specific thing, it is possible to say that this is about both nothing and everything at the same time. It was simply stunning. I am grateful to netgalley for allowing me to read this book as a pre release, I genuinely loved it.
This book was a beautifully written, original take in the growing genre of WWII fiction. I will say there are traumatic events and situations, so be warned. But still a testament to the courage of women who refuse to be beaten by adversity.
This is a poignant story of two very different women, dealing with trauma inflicted during WW2 and surviving through the importance of friendship. In the U.K. Grace’s childhood is marred by severe personal abuse at the hands of her own family. Over in Poland, another young girl called Zoshia has fled to Antwerp after persecution by the Nazis in her native Poland. Grace is at the mercy of a tyrannical father who is obsessed with controlling those in his family unit. Sadly, mistaking control for love, she marries a man who does exactly the same, but also inflicts physical abuse too, Since fleeing Poland, Grace joined the Resistance, proving to be brave in helping many other Jews escape and survive the war. Afterwards her life and her marriage are happy, but she shows symptoms of PTSD and can never fully free herself from the atrocities she witnessed in occupied Europe. Years later, they meet by chance and sense a kindred spirit in the other. They are able to share their traumas and understand that despite coming from different places they are afflicted by similar scars. This is a lovely meditation on friendship and how sharing trauma can lessen its sting.
This book was heartbreaking and was more enjoyable than i thought it would be based upon how heartbreaking it actually is. It is a good story with good themes and heartfelt and emotional chracters that i loved. i could not put it down. Please read this book.
Disclaimer: This book is an e-book ARC given to me through NetGalley by Matador (Troubador Publishing) in exchange for my honest opinions. This book is a sweeping glance across two very different yet somehow lives set in the backdrop of WWII and the transition that took place following. Zoshia and Grace must face their unfair share of difficult lives and people who don’t always have their best interests at heart. For a debut novel I thought this was a really grand and ambitious idea and I loved the storytelling.
I rather enjoyed Bound By The Scars We Share. I liked that it is told in multiple POV. This is beautifully written and a very emotional book and deals with difficult subject matter. Trigger Warnings: Genocide Depression Attempted sexual assault Neglect anxiety Sexism Prejudice
I am a lover of Historical Fiction and this one didn't disappoint. From the moment I read the blurb I knew I had to read this book. A story of two strong women with two similar but different stories to tell. It delves deeply into all the trauma and indecencies women have had to endure in such hard and tough times. This book highlights how wars, inequality, injustice and cruelty impact these two women's lives. It makes you think, you feel all the emotions going through these women and it at times is heartbreaking. Yet it is uplifting in that these women prove that they are strong and courageous. It was well written but sometimes hard to read due to the nature of the story (not in a bad way though). It drives home how far women have come in this world too. It was descriptive and flowed well, was honest and kept me reading until the very last page.
Thank you so much to netgalley and the author for granting me access to the ebook of Bound by the Scars we share by Vivien Churney! 3⭐️ If you like historical fiction and want a super quick read, this is for you. This book is not plot driven, but is character driven, as it follows the journeys of two women, Grace and Zoshia, from their birth into elderly life. It takes place during the Second World War and in the years later when they have to carry on after the horrors they’ve experienced. Zoshia’s early life was especially difficult with being a jew in ww2, and Graces was also for the lack of love from her family. Some heavy topics were discussed but I think they were written well, in a not too explicit way so it left it to the imagination. Other topics include Genocide, war, death, SA, domestic abuse, abuse etc. The ending seemed a bit rushed for me, but I’m happy with where each character ended up :) It felt like we were watching a documentary of these characters lives so if you like that type of thing this book is for you!
Historical fiction, particularly as it relates to WWll, tends to be emotionally depleting due to the nature of the atrocities committed by the Nazis. Bound by the Scars We Share is no exception. But this novel is much more than another war story. This is a story about the will to survive and about the heroic sacrifices some individuals are compelled to make when faced with the most untenable situations. To be sure, war is cruel and violent and unforgiving, but the human spirit and what binds us together is the most powerful force of all. In this story, Vivien Churney exposes us to the best and worst sides of humanity and allows us to see the enduring power of love and friendship. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.
I hate nothing more than DNFing a book, but sometimes you just have to. I struggled to get past the first few pages. I think my issue was the writing style. I love descriptive writing but it felt so forced. If you like the genre, please go ahead and check it out! I do think some people will enjoy it. It just wasn't for me.
Felt a bit disappointed by the premise of this book which was promising but finally not really well executed. Two parallel stories that meet at the end in à forced way.
Star Rating : 5 Stars This incredible Debut Novel gripped me right from page one. A harrowing story following the two main characters, Zoshia and Grace during WW2 and beyond. This is the story of the trauma both women endure throughout their lives despite being worlds apart. Zoshia is a young, strong minded Jewish girl who loves playing the piano and dreams of becoming a concert pianist. Her family have to go into hiding and Zoshia decides she must help Jewish children escape the Nazi invasion. This colours her entire life and leaves with a never ending feeling of "why me"? Grace, an English girl living in Lyme Regis. She adores Ballet but she lives with a cruel father and Grace yearns to escape, only to find herself in the worst situation that she could have ever imagined. The chapters deal with each character in turn, which I really enjoyed. I felt like I grew to know each character inside and out. I have to admit to a few tears. The cruelty both women see and endure is absolutely heart-breaking. There is a lot of sadness with lives that at times seem impossible to live. Both Zoshia and Grace endeavour to lead good lives and try to fill it love and laughter despite all the dreadful situations both have found themselves in. The final chapter really brought everything together. No loose ends or "but what about so and so" questions. The ending is spot on and leaves you, as a reader with a sense of relief and eventual happiness for both Women, however long the journey, they both endured it with a fierceness that can only be admired. I loved every single page of this incredible book, not a word wasted. Review can be found on my website www.nikipreston.com
Bound By The Scars We Share by Vivien Churney is a novel charting the parallel lives of two young women – both unknown to the other. On the surface the women have nothing in common – an English girl and a Polish Jew living in Nazi-occupied Europe. Both suffered in different ways in their teens during World War II – one from persecution, the other from neglect and abuse. Each fought their own war. Each had different enemies. Their internal struggles were mirrored by each other. A father’s past has coloured the way he sees and treats women – they can never do right in his eyes, no matter how hard they try. A daughter goes through life trying to please her father. The other young woman was loved but every time happiness was in sight, it eluded her. It is the next generation of daughters who bond and save their mothers. It is love that breaks the cycle of tragedy and hurt. Each chapter alternates between the two women as their parallel stories unfold starting in the 1920’s and moving forwards. Bound By The Scars We Share was a good way to spend an afternoon. I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.