“Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure” by Suzanne Anderson

The Tenuous Relationship Between Hungary and Germany–WWII

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…

Hungary’s fragile alliance with Germany kept Natalie, a renowned children’s book author, and her family out of harm’s way for most of the war. Now as the Führer’s desperation grows during the waning years of the conflict, so does its threat. Natalie’s younger sister, Ilona, married a Jewish man, putting both her and her young daughter, Mila, in peril; Natalie’s twin sister, Anna, is losing her already tenuous hold on reality. As the streets of Budapest thrum with the pounding boots of Nazi soldiers, danger creeps to the doorstep where Natalie shields them all.

Ilona and her husband take the last two tickets to safety for themselves, abandoning Natalie to protect Anna and Mila from the encroaching danger. Anna’s paranoid explosion at a university where was once a professor, sparked by delusions over an imagined love triangle, threatens their only other chance for escape. Ultimately, Natalie is presented with a choice no one should ever have to make; which of her family will she save?

An inspirational story of faith and family, strength and weakness, and the ultimate triumph of love over hate. Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure demonstrates the power of faith to light even the most harrowing darkness.

Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure, in its original form, was quite a bit different from the book I published in some important ways:

First it was written in the First Person Point of View, which gave it a much more intimate feel, which as it turns out, was the right POV for a story about a family experiencing the most terrifying moments of war.

Second, it was actually set in Budapest, Hungary during World War Two, not in the fictional other-world it was thinly disguised as.

And finally, it had a spiritual element that explored a particular element of religious faith that has always perplexed me….the challenge of believing in something we cannot see.

… faith is the evidence of things not seen.

Bio:  I’ve done everything. Worked on Wall Street, taught overseas, travel extensively, and read voraciously. But the one thing I’ve always wanted to do was write. And that’s what I do here. Oh, and I’ve also recently published my first book, Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure.

I was born in Fort Lauderdale, attended the University of Michigan on an athletic scholarship for swimming and then worked on Wall Street. I left the bright lights of the big city fifteen years ago and traveled the world. I now live in the mountains of Colorado, where I pursue my dream of writing novels.

My Review:

With the Nazis arriving in Budapest, Ilona and her husband Mila, a Jew, take the last two tickets for the train out of Budapest for themselves, leaving their daughter Mila, and Ilona’s sisters, Natalie and Anna who are identical twins, to fend for themselves.  Natalie is a renowned children’s book author and Anna a former professor at the college and poet, who is slowly losing her mind with paranoid delusions that put them in danger.

Suzanne’s novel, Mrs. Tuesday’s Departure, is written in the first person point of view, which gives us Natalie’s personal perspective of the stress, planning, and dangers the two women and Mila are enduring.  It draws you straight into the emotional drama of how she can know who to trust, what she should do to protect Mila, her worries of being watched and followed, and how she should handle Anna in her delusional states.  My feelings were so pumped throughout, knowing the dangers and fears.

The grief from the loss of Max, Natalie’s husband, was sensitively handled and very well portrayed.  Betrayal by a young man, her intruding questions about Deszo, and the jealousies between Natalie and Anna kept the story moving through the whole book like a marching army of sorts.  The additional story of Mrs. Tuesday was an interesting interlude to set aside the atrocities taking place, a time of escape for a short period of time.

The love Natalie has for Mila fills a part of her loneliness, but also becomes an issue of choice for her.  If she had to choose between saving Mila or Anna, who would she choose?  The strength of faith, family, and love bring a resolution through this horrifying time of history.

This is a great book built around a terrified family trying to survive Hitler’s men, and I thought it was well laid out and emotionally touching.  However, the use of expletives took me by surprise and I feel they were unnecessary in a Christian book.

This book was provided by the author, Suzanne Anderson, in exchanged for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged for my opinion.


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