Anya by Susan Fromberg Schaeffer


Anya Karinsky's beautiful life seemed like one long and perfect dream that would spin on forever.But her wonderful world of dances, travel, medical school, and her beloved family ended one day late in the summer of 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland. The bombs that leveled her Warsaw home that day marked the beginning of her soul-stirring odyssey of endurance and escape, through years of horror and Holocaust. Strong when others grew weak, selfless ...

Details Anya

Release DateFeb 17th, 2004
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, World War II, Holocaust, War, Cultural, Poland

Reviews Anya

  • ``Laurie Henderson
    If you are in the mood for a good book of drama/action/adventure then Anya might be the book for you.I first read Anya many years ago and this gripping book has stuck with me ever since.Meet Anya, an innocent, young, Polish Jewish woman trying to survive WW2 and the holocaust as she meets one horrible obstacle to survival after another.I marveled at her ingenuity and watched her grow from helpless victim to determined survivor. This is one of tho...
  • Tim
    I don't know if the publisher was scrimping on printing costs but the type of the edition I read was so small it hurt my eyes - and add to that the dialogue isn't broken up by new paragraphs when a new speaker talks and what you get are huge blocks of typescript on every page. The most reader unfriendly novel I’ve ever read. Printed in a normal size font and with conventional paragraph breaks this book would probably run to at least 700 pages. ...
  • Chrissie
    NO SPOILERSFinished: Most of us have read about the genocide of Jews in WW2, so why read another book on this subject? What will it give the reader that the others haven't? First of all the crimes of WW2 are just so mind boggling that there is no definitive answer. There is always more to consider. I will say it right off, it was the author's style of writing that made this book different from the others I have read. I enjoyed the mix of happines...
  • Lisa Vegan
    This was a wonderful, epic type novel, taking place during the holocaust. The main protagonist is a young educated Jewish woman, and it's about all that she goes through before, during, and after the Nazi regime. It was really gripping and suspenseful and I cared about her and some of the other characters also. One of my favorite novels.On my latest reread:It’s always hardest for me to review the books I love the most. I first read this book in...
  • Mary
    I read this book many years ago as a teenager. It's a book that takes some concentration to get through with achingly long descriptions. However, without the descriptions you cannot appreciate the rest. This was the first book I had ever read about the Halocaust. It is very vivid and your mind's eye opens to place you with Anya throughout her life. Her suffering is shocking and yet many other details remind you she is more than a victim. You foll...
  • Diane
    I struggled with rating this book - truly would give a 3.5 if GR had half stars. Anya was a true saga of a book, that starts when the primary character is a child and carries through well into her adulthood. It is a book of WWII, and the first I read about the German occupation of Poland and also the first I read (view spoiler)[ which took me through to the character's immigration to the United States (hide spoiler)]The book was very touching ove...
  • Susan Harkins
    Read it when it first came out and it remains to this day as one of my favorites.
  • Linda Branham Greenwell
    The story is about a Russian Jewish family that moved to Poland a few years before the 2nd-world war. Their life was genteel and wonderful and each member of the family was so caring and thoughtful to each other and their relatives. Then came the Nazi's and imprisonment, and for most death. Anya and her child survive, and they are the only survivors from her family. Anya had to search for her daughter after the war and finally found her. But the ...
  • Tracie Donnell
    I first read this in about 1977, and it has returned to me many times over the years. I recently rediscovered it and read the 485 pages in 3 days. It remains THE best novel on the Holocaust I've ever read. Not overly graphic in the details, but so powerful you feel as if you are in every moment with the characters.
  • Jennyb
    It is possible that I take things too seriously sometimes, and I need to lighten up in my overly earnest assessments of books I read. That said, I expect serious fiction to be serious, and if you choose to write a novel about the Holocaust, you'd better be as damn serious as a heart attack. In Anya, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer isn't. In fact, have never read such a superficial and unfeeling book about the Holocaust, to the point where I don't just d...
  • Lee
    This book drove me crazy. I would probably rate the first couple hundred pages with 2 stars, maybe only 1. Her writing style drove me crazy, especially with tiny print and long paragraphs. It was so disjointed and confusing--I practically itched reading it and it took me months to get through it. I nearly put it down several times. Then once the war started I definitely felt more engaged even though it often still jumped around. Her experience wa...
  • Mscarolyn
    This is an exquisitely written, lovingly detailed literary feast -- the setting is drawn down to the last detail, beautiful and jewel-like -- and then smashed like an eggshell in the unfolding of the novel's events. Beautiful and harrowing and eye-opening. A must-read.
  • Tonya
    I never thought I would give a 2-star rating to an epic WWII novel, but look at me now! As I read a lot of other reviews of this book, I noticed that a lot of readers mentioned they read it in school back in the 70's and 80's. I think that for those purposes, it would be a good way to expose students to a lot of the harsh realities of the horrors of the Holocaust. HOWEVER, as for me, being someone who has read more than a few novels/nonfiction ac...
  • Chris
    Disappointed. This is absolutely my kind of book and I was very keen to read it. While some might consider holocaust or other survivor manuscripts morbid, I feel we can learn a lot from what people went through and how they endured. It can help sometimes put our own issues into better context. Given all the five star reviews I settled down to read Anya with anticipation. I ended up dragging myself through to the end and finishing it with great re...
  • Evi
    As other reviewers have mentioned, this was a difficult book to read. The writing style was difficult, including tiny print and long paragraphs. At times it was a bit disjointed and confusing. It took me a long time to get through this book, but I'm glad I stayed with it. As a lover of Holocaust books, this was one of the best. It was an amazing story of Anya's life as a Holocaust survivor.It was a bit long-winded in parts and I found myself rere...
  • Daria Mielcarz
    This book starts with ridiculously and unnecessarily long descriptions of every item of furniture, clothing, linen etc. owned by the narrator before the war. Every single one of them.Then we are to believe that, because of her beauty and her large breasts, this woman was helped by every man around her and that the minute the war ended the Jews were treated like everybody else.We are also expected to believe that after 3 weeks her child, who had b...
  • Laura Edwards
    Such a powerful book. As usual with any book about the Holocaust, I can only read a few chapters at a time and it takes a while to get through. So worth it, though. Ranks right up there with "Heavy Sand" by Anatoli Rybakov. The only negative was the way the dialogue was written. All bunched together in one long paragraph. Made deciphering the speaker very difficult. I usually had to read passages of dialogue twice to get the words matched up with...
  • Kathleen Yeates
    Read Anya several years ago and have always remembered it as one of my favorite stories. The author, Schaeffer has a way of describing places and feelings etc. so that you feel like you are there. I love stories like this telling of people's survival through such rough times. It always makes you stop and realize what these people went through and be gratefull for our own lives. I have always loved the name "Anya" since reading this book.
  • Candice Walsh
    Can't say I enjoyed this book. The first two Chapters are devoted to household descriptions alone...and while I understand the premise for all this -- to set up everything that was lost -- it was extremely hard to get through. Some extremely heartbreaking moments throughout (as you would imagine), but the author's style drove me batty. I gave it two stars because it DID move me to tears, several times. Especially the Epilogue...the reflection. Co...
  • Patty Abrams
    Anya grew up as a wealthy and privileged Polish Jewess. Until the Nazis came.
  • Joan Bash
    I felt that this book took *forever* to read; normally, I take about six days max to read a book, as I don't read most books straight through; this one took me over two weeks to get finished. Part of it was the incredibly small print of the book, and its length, at 512 pages (normally not a problem for me) made it take a long time to get through. I felt that the author had a tendency to jump from one subject to the next, within one paragraph, and...
  • Laura Ruetz
    I struggled with this book at times. While I found the story engaging, and sad, her perseverance is really inspiring and so as a character, she struck a cord with me. The book is very detailed, and those details really help cement the emotions of the book, especially considering the subject nature and how horrible much of what she goes through really is. This really is a well written book, and I don't mind the length of it and loved the details. ...
  • Iris
    This book has 450 pages and believe me if the descriptions of the family houses were cut one would still get an accurate picture of how an upper middle class home looked before the war. There are of course, harrowing tales of what things were like during the holocaust . However the protagonist had more luck than most people would have in a lifetime , which made the book rather implausible. To me the Epilogue is the most interesting part of the bo...
  • Reva
    I read this book many years ago.It was this book that made me realize that it can happen anywhere, anytime.Anya before the war was just like we are living today. We think we are safe and s cure from anti- semitism, but it can happen anywhere.
  • Donna
    I read this book multiple times as a teen, and was wondering if I had remembered it clearly. It's a story about the Holocaust, voiced by a young polish woman, and it's beautifully written. I'm so glad I read it again, it's an extraordinary story.
  • Jeanne Beaudet
  • Marti Knight
    One of the first WW II stories I read. I still remember it.
  • Maria Markus
    I got hooked from the first page till the last one. It was a page turner for me.
  • Quirkybookworm
    I LOVE Anya. Wow!
  • Sue
    What an interesting book. I think I would give it 3 1/2 stars if I could. This is the story of a young girl growing up in comfort and privilege, with a large, loving, Jewish family in Poland about the time WWII begins. When Poland is invaded by Hitler, her life changes dramatically. This story follows her from the ghetto for Jews, to the concentration camp, and trying to survive after her escape and find her daughter. I loved the story, but I wil...