2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.
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Book Review: Ethel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba

This was a very interesting read, and I thoroughly enjoyed not only the discussions of her guilt or innocence but also of her life both before and after Julius Rosenberg entered it… So much about Ethel has gotten subsumed by the concept of “The Rosenbergs” as a unit – both at the time of the actual events and in the historical revisiting of their execution – that seeing the spotlight shined down on the woman herself feels long overdue. Sebba has done a fine job painting a picture of Ethel’s life that is straightforward, engaging, and easy to envision.

This is not one of those non-fiction books that reads like a novel. The writing style is a mix of narrative and detail that made for slightly uneven pacing. I would click along for dozens of pages, captivated by the imagery of Ethel’s daily life, only to then find myself soon thereafter slogging through another dozen pages filled with detail about who said what to whom and when… It made for a slightly uneven read – not in a bad way, just in a way that meant it took longer to read then I anticipated when I started it.

There was a lot of intriguing evidence that all is not as it has been presented though, and it certainly paints a different picture then popular history has. I applaud Sebba for her diligence in that. It’s a solid read and a poignant reminder about the myriad realities involved in being a woman in the 1950s.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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