How It Begins
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Add a library card to your account to borrow titles, place holds, and add titles to your wish list. Have a card? Add it now to start borrowing from the collection. The library card you previously added can't be used to complete this action. Please add your card again, or add a different card. If you receive an error message, please contact your library for help. Error loading page. View all 3 comments. Mar 24, Joshua Grant rated it it was amazing. Millions dead.
Entire lives left shattered or smoldering in the wake of a storm of hatred. Such was the scene of the Holocaust, an unforgettable event burned into the psyche of the world, even nearly a century later. Or was it unforgettable? Joan Dempsey brilliantly shows how we could easily find ourselves back in the fields of the reaper with her novel This is How it Begins.
This is How it Begins is a rare gem that spoke to me on multiple levels. As Dempsey followed the story of Ludk Millions dead. As Dempsey followed the story of Ludka, a Holocaust survivor, and her family in modern times, I found myself drawn to every character. Dempsey has a subtle approach when it comes to character emotions and storytelling that made everything very realistic.
Nothing was ever over the top or underwhelming, but just right.
Nov 18, Hyrum Huskey rated it it was amazing. She maintains several connected subplot lines that run throughout the book. The author explores today's sensitive ideological issues in comparative context to those of the late s pre-war period in Warsaw. Her characters are definitive and believable because they display individual values, attitudes, and hidden secrets. The storyline takes a little time to become visible, but thereafter, the pacing literally pulls the reader through the story. With some loss of sleep, I finished this page book within twenty-three hours of receipt.
Five well deserved stars. A page-turner literary novel? Yup, that's what this one is, and it's excellent. The characters are interesting and believable, the political atmosphere is relevant and intriguing, and the plot resolution is fully satisfying. Much careful research went into the writing of this novel, and Dempsey has skillfully balanced every aspect of the book. A compelling story of unexpected betrayals and surprising new loyalties set in contemporary times and underpinned with a fascinating Holocaust revelation, A page-turner literary novel?
A compelling story of unexpected betrayals and surprising new loyalties set in contemporary times and underpinned with a fascinating Holocaust revelation, This Is How It Begins feels worthy of becoming a New York Times bestseller. I read this advanced reader copy suspecting it would be good because Joan Dempsey is a terrific writing teacher, but instead I found it's way beyond good.
I read many novels each year, and this is one of my top ten in the past five years of reading, to date. View all 5 comments. As a Californian, it is hard for me to imagine twelve teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area getting fired because of their sexual preference. It doesn't make sense, yet the part of my brain lurking beneath my beliefs knows it could happen. Especially now.
Ivete Sangalo – Where It Begins Lyrics | Genius Lyrics
After all, the Holocaust started because some people weren't watching when Hitler rose to power and the Nazis took away the rights of gays as well as Jews. The more I read, the more I appreciated that Joan Dempsey's This is How it Begins is unnerving because the potential for such discrimination could be real right now—especially if we aren't watching, commenting, and guarding against it.
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In Dempsey's story, the charges against Tommy, who allegedly silenced Christian students in his high school English classroom, are a fabrication. But when I was a high school teacher, I saw a couple of devoutly Christian students turn every essay, every story, and every comment they made into Christian testimony, often avoiding the question I asked whether they meant to or not.
Where does belief end and brainwashing begin? Dempsey's book explores these questions on more than one level. Tommy's grandmother, eighty-five-year-old art professor, Ludka Zeilonka, still remembers the Nazis persecuting the Jews and her Catholic family protecting them. All these years later, she's still protecting a secret of her own: she's hiding valuable art, stolen from the Nazis who stole from Jews. Of course she's appalled by Tommy's dismissal, but she has her own problems to contend with. A stranger who knows what she's hiding threatens to expose her, and that raises her anxiety level further.
That, and the probability that he's related to a very old friend, are nearly too much for her to contend with. This is a book about recognizing and confronting labels and the discrimination they cause. It's about seeing shifts in our beliefs that can change the course of history by doing whatever it takes, legal and fair or not, to get what you want.
Sound familiar? It is an eerie mirror of more than one country operating in the world today. And it's a warning. People who let go of either free speech or empathy for opposing viewpoints will pay the price.
Dempsey weaves the two stories together with skill and insight. Her writing stimulates one's imagination as well as one's social conscience. Her ideas and point of view, as well as her award, make her a writer worth watching, and This is How it Begins is a novel worth reading. View 2 comments. Intelligent writing coupled with a timely subject. I won this through Goodreads Giveaways and enjoyed the writing most of all. This is definitely literary fiction, as there is lots to unpack within the pages.
October Performance Update (Day 2494): So It Begins…
At times I did feel disinterested, since there wasn't always a lot happening to pull me into the story, but it didn't lose it's significance, if that makes sense. If you're looking for a literary novel to sink your teeth into, pick this up. Nov 13, Jeanie Bread rated it it was amazing Shelves: reviewed. And it was written by my Facebook friend, Joan Dempsey from my home state of Maine. Joan also works with writers to edit and promote their books.
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I think of this book in 3 stages. The basis for the book sets it off showing a family and some distinctive features that flow from their heritage, war, and personal choices. As an art professor, she travels back to Poland where she relives the horrific events of her memories. I never knew that people could have such strong feelings that unfold in these scenarios as I have always only been concerned with my being free to believe, speak and live my life without condescension.
It is literally happening in American culture as we see our rights being reversed by the US government today. Addressing the concerns of today and seeing that history repeats itself, this book brings all that to the surface. This multi-generational novel reminds us how intricately and intimately the fabric of our lives is woven.
Issues that touch us all are never farther than a door's threshold away. A family dedicated to service , education and preservation, with commitment and resolution, calls on the glue that has forever made them whole to shine a light of reality on injustice.
The writing is refined. The language, on the one hand is lean, while on the other never fails to present the meat necessary for a force This multi-generational novel reminds us how intricately and intimately the fabric of our lives is woven. The language, on the one hand is lean, while on the other never fails to present the meat necessary for a forceful impact, Joan Dempsey leaves you wondering if you are reading fiction or something ripped from today's news.
A novel that grabs you, gathers you in and engulfs you in the story and the intimate lives of the characters. I read this debut novel once and am compelled to read it again. Jan 12, Mark Pepe rated it it was amazing. I very seldom write a review because I read so much I would constantly be writing instead of reading!!! That being said, not only is this an excellent book, but it's very current. You must read this book because "This is How it Begins! Looking for I very seldom write a review because I read so much I would constantly be writing instead of reading!!! Looking forward to more from Joan Dempsey.
She has another fan!