Stunning, compelling, and heartwrenching. Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin is the story of a Polish-Jewish refugee escaping the Nazis in Poland for Shanghai, China, inspired by true stories of the past.
After her mother vanishes from Warsaw, Lillia, her father, and baby sister Naomi escape Nazi-occupied Poland and arrive in Shanghai, China. With little money for even food, and no mother to look after them, Lillia knows she will never feel at home in this city. As the weeks go by without sign of her mother, Lillia sees herself grow into a woman she doesn’t recognize. She feels like she’s been broken into pieces that can never join to make her whole again.
But despite all of that, she’s not alone. Lillia finds herself in a small community of rag-tag friends and neighbours, and with their help, Lillia can’t make herself whole again, but maybe she can learn to survive and keep Papa and Naomi safe until her mother comes home.
From beneath the rubble of war, pain and suffering, Rachel DeWoskin managed to write an uplifting, yet heart-breaking true story of life during the war. Someday We Will Fly gets a 8.5/10. This book tells a story of courage and hope, a story of hardship and misery, intertwined with pieces of friendship and love. The characters in this book are strong, beautiful and real. The small details and descriptions add a life-like layer to this story, and I found myself absorbed into Lillia’s world. Lillia’s character arc is beautifully written, and I loved how her relationships with Naomi, her father, and Wei (a friend) grew as the story went on.
I didn’t enjoy the plot quite as much; historical fiction novels usually end up short on action scenes and this one was no different. Some parts got boring, and often too much time was wasted in establishing a setting. Regardless of that, I loved Lillia’s story. Someday We Will Fly told a lesser-known story of Jewish World War II refugees, and although it was difficult to read of so much suffering, Someday We Will Fly was a moving book that I would recommend to everyone.