Rivka’s War

072613_mishmash_bookBy Marilyn Oser
Mill City Press 2013, 262 pages

“Rivka’s War” is a must-read.

When I first picked up this book, I was skeptical. The storyline seemed fine from the cover’s description, but the beginning few pages were hard to endure. However, within a short while, the story encapsulated me, and I was glad I decided to read it.

“Rivka’s War” tells Rivka’s story, a young woman from Russia, born and raised in the early 1900s. As the Great War breaks out, Rivka’s family is torn apart. All that she knew — and the traditional life that she planned for — dissipates. Instead, as the czar’s army suffers, Rivka is recruited to join the war. She is in a women’s unit, run by a hardcore peasant officer. Her delicate hands become the hands of a soldier; she learns to shoot, take and give orders and to fight for Mother Russia.

But the war goes badly. Rivka is on the losing side of Russia’s internal strife, and finally she is forced out of the field and onto another adventure. Ultimately, she travels to Palestine. There, she becomes a spy and involved in yet another war — the Jewish war to secure Israel from the British. This time, she is more successful in her mission.

Ultimately, Rivka meets the unlikely love of her life.

Rivka’s story is a historical fiction that opens the reader up to the times, and that touches the heart.

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