Sunday Book Review – The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

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Sunday Book Review


Book reviews by D.G. Kaye


Today’s book review is on Paulette Mahurin’s – The Seven Year Dress- A chilling look into the story of one woman’s survival after years of hiding out,fleeing the Nazi’s, her eventual capture, and her resilience and determination to live and regained her freedom from Auschwitz in 1945.

The Seven Year Dress by Paulette Mahurin

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One of the darkest times in human history was the insane design and execution to rid the world of Jews and “undesirables.” At the hands of the powerful evil madman Adolf Hitler, families were ripped apart and millions were slaughtered. Persecution, torture, devastation, and enduring the unthinkable remained for those who lived. This is the story of one woman who lived to tell her story. This is a narrative of how a young beautiful teenager, Helen Stein, and her family were torn asunder, ultimately bringing her to Auschwitz. It was there she suffered heinous indignity at the hands of the SS. It was also there, in that death camp, she encountered compassion, selfless acts of kindness, and friendship.

Written by the award-winning, best-selling author of His Name Was Ben, comes a story of the resilience of the human spirit that will leave you thinking about Helen Stein and The Seven Year Dress for years to come after the last page is shut.


My 5 Star Review

The story of the Seven Year Dress is told through Jewish holocaust victim and survivor, Helen, as she shares her story with her new tenant about the degradation, starvation and brutality she witnessed and suffered from the Nazis.

Mahurin does a riveting job of capturing the climate of Nazi Germany just before the war broke out, depicting Helen and her family, and her one non Jewish friend who risked his own life to save Helen and her family from being captured and taken to Auschwitz concentration camp. We’re taken right into the emotions of Helen’s plight. Humiliation, inhumanity, fear and uncertainty of living one more day became the new life for Helen, once a seemingly happy, middle-class girl becoming stripped of everything she had, knew and loved from her former life before that fateful night in November 1938.

This heart-wrenching tale of destruction and devastation and an unfaltering fight to survive will have you eager to keep reading, despite the unblemished truths of the violence and descriptions of what Helen witnessed and endured.

I applaud Mahurin for writing this telling of a demoralizing tale of the human spirit of those who fought to survive despite all odds against them – heroic efforts to remain alive despite having no reason left to live except the desire to live.

I couldn’t stop reading this book and eagerly awaited any opportunity I’d get to pick it up again to learn how Helen survived. It’s also a good reminder about how easily a country can become brainwashed by false propaganda. I’m am looking forward to reading more books by this author. If you enjoy reading historical fiction, I highly recommend this book and author.


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  1. Thanks Debby – it does look like a book I should read … and I will remember the title – an evocative one … The Seven Year Dress .. terrible times – all the best – Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary. If you enjoy historical fiction and reading stories of triumph through the fear and evil of mankind, I’m sure this book will captivate you. 🙂 x

  2. Thank you for reading my book and taking the time to write this beautifully written review. I’m deeply grateful. Love, Paulette

    1. I couldn’t put it down Paulette. A most riveting read. I look forward to reading more of your books. <3

    1. It was my pleasure Paulette. <3

  3. Sounds like a rivetting read thanks for the review Debby. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing Marje. 🙂 x

  4. I’ve read great reviews of this book. Thanks, Debby!

    1. A great read Olga. Glad I can offer a good read back at you. 🙂 x

  5. Fantastic review Debby.. Paulette is in the bookstore and will add your review in the Tuesday post. great job ♥

    1. OH thanks bunches Sal. That will be lovely. <3 xxx

  6. An amazing review, Debby. These books about the holocaust are very emotional. I used to read a lot of them when I was younger but now that I have children I find them a very difficult read indeed.

    1. Thanks Robbie. No doubt, a most difficult read emotionally, but enthralling at the same time. 🙂 x

  7. Debby, this is a book I keep seeing but so far haven’t read a review of – after your excellent one here this is one I want to read asap. Many thanks for sharing.

    1. Oh good Annika. I’m so glad my review could entice you. If you enjoy reading factual historic fiction, you will love Paulette’s book. 🙂 xx

  8. This sounds a harrowing read Debby.. Your review was excellent.. ( my thoughts are also with you as your favourite place of Las Vegas and the tragic events unfold here today) So much heartache for many..Both past and present
    Much Love dear Debby

    1. Thank you Sue. A harrowing read, but one that bears reminding. And yes, watching the news now, devasting what happened in Las Vegas. I’m not going to get into politics here, but suffice it to say. #Guncontrol 🙁 <3 Big hugs.

      1. Yes.. My thoughts exactly in your last sentence Debby.. <3

  9. This sounds excellent–and what a title. I’m glad these sorts of books are coming out, especially with the seeming effort to forget those atrocities. We can’t. We mustn’t.

    1. So true Jacqui. Time to revisit some of the inhumanities of life to bring people together in solidarity. If you enjoy ‘factual’ historical fiction I’m sure you will love reading Paulette’s books. 🙂 x

  10. Fascinating story, book and review. I like historical fiction and, despite all the horror throughout that period in the protagonist’s life, as a reader, you at least know she survives when you start reading. That helps. I wrote the title down on my “to read” list. Thanks for the recommendation, Debby!

    1. True Liesbet. Despite the sadness, it’s a great read! 🙂

  11. We should probably all read stories like this to remind us how low we can go, and how strong we can be. These stories show us what not to be, and how we should treat each other. I have just finished reading a novel for young people about the same era called “Pennies for Hitler” by Jackie French. It has some pretty powerful messages too. Thanks for letting me know about this one.

    1. You are absolutely right Norah. These books are good reminders how precious freedom is. I’m glad to hear there are books on the subject for young readers too. I may have to look that one up. Happy weekend Norah. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Debby. My weekend was good. I assume today is a holiday for you. Enjoy the celebrations. 🙂

        1. Thanks Norah. We did the turkey day yesterday, but today is also our wedding anniversary so we’re just going to relax. 🙂

          1. Lots to celebrate! Congratulations! Enjoy! 🙂

  12. Oh Debby, this read would break my heart, put it together, break it again… You presented the book with all of the respect it deserves, of that I have no doubt. Thanks for sharing the read with us ♥

    1. Thanks so much Christy Yes, it’s heartbreaking, but a riveting read nonetheless. <3 :)

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