Tell Me Another Morning: An Autobiographical Novel by Zdena Berger
In 1961, Tell Me Another Morning was published for the first time. This novel, based on Zdena Berger’s teen years in several concentration camps of Nazi Germany, has been lost to the world for quite sometime. But Paris Press has brought it back, publishing it once again for a new generation of readers.
I think the most fascinating aspect of Tell Me Another Morning is the perspective from which it is told and the author’s ability to show the main character’s gradual loss of innocence throughout her four years of concentration camps. The book begins with an innocent 15-year-old girl living a normal life with her family. At age 16, she and her family are whisked away, sent to the camps, uncertain if there is any future at all for them. I appreciate that Berger assumes you already know the basics of the Holocaust and doesn’t recap things that should be common knowledge. There’s no rehashing of historical facts we all know, and on thinking back, I don’t remember the name “Hitler” being mentioned once. What you will gain is a new and painful look from the viewpoint of a girl the age most of us begin to search for control of our lives–and she has none.
Forget that the book was written 47 years ago–the writing style is fresh and smooth. I like books that have an artistic, almost poetic quality without making you read sentences three times to get it. Tell Me Another Morning doesn’t bog you down, yet it’s full of weighty subject matter. If you’re looking for a great book for your summer reading club, go for this one. There’s even an online study guide to help you. Even without the study guide, no need to worry–you’ll never be short on discussion points! Berger’s book is rich in character and plot, worthy of a resurgence in popularity.