I listened to an audiobook edition of Mila 18 on Audible.
Genre: Historical fiction, WWII fiction.
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Originally published: 1961 by Doubleday
Pages: 563 (paperback)
Audiobook length: 22 hrs and 58 mins
Narrated by: David deVries
Synopsis by the publisher:
It was a time of crisis, a time of tragedy – and a time of transcendent courage and determination. Leon Uris’s blazing novel is set in the midst of the ghetto uprising that defied Nazi tyranny, as the Jews of Warsaw boldly met Wehrmacht tanks with homemade weapons and bare fists. Here, painted on a canvas as broad as its subject matter, is the compelling story of one of the most heroic struggles of modern times.
Mila 18 is one of those books that my dad has recommended to me over and over again. I’ve had it on my shelf for what feels like forever, but for some reason, I just never got around to reading it. But on the hunt for some new audiobooks on Audible it came up as a recommended book there as well (not surprising since I have listened and read my share of books about World War 2), so I decided it was time to finally read/listen to it.
It took me a little while to get all the characters in order, but as soon as I did, I was very invested in their stories.
Mila 18 is a slow burner, but the flame burns bright through the whole book. The audiobook is almost 22 hours long, but during these hours I never felt bored.
The story of the Warsaw ghetto tells how war and despair bring out the very best in people, and the absolute worst.
We follow struggling marriages, young couples in love, a resistance coming to life, German officers and families just trying to survive.
It is a heartbreaking story as much as it is one that makes you want to go utterly mad with anger. One of the things that always made WWII stories so fascinating to me, was trying to get into the minds of the people who drove the war forward and trying to understand how someone could be so cruel and act so cruel. But I have to say that for the most part, the more I read, the less I feel like I understand. I still can’t fathom how the Nazis could justify their acts, and I don’t think I ever will.
But no matter how difficult it is to try to understand why people sometimes do the things that they do, books like Mila 18, and so many others, are so important. We need to remember. We have to remember.
This book tells a story of immense bravery, love, and endurance. We get to follow the people in the ghetto as well as outside of it and see how they process the war and how it changes the city that they call home, as well as the people around them.
The uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is a symbol of freedom.
It is a powerful story, an important story, but not one for the faint of heart. It had me feeling angry, unwell and moved to tears.
If you like historical fiction and especially historical fiction set during WWII, then I would definitely recommend Mila 18.
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