... admirable ... painstaking in its detail, harrowing in the stories it tells ... For all its narrative anguish and its inventories of Nazi barbarism, this is an uplifting tale, suffused with a karmic righteousness that is, at times, exhilarating ... Ms. Frankel knows how to spin a saga expertly. And she does so here with just the right infusion of sentiment, careful to steer clear of mawkishness and exaggeration—excesses to which a lesser writer could so easily have fallen prey ... Ms. Frankel’s chronicle of their fugitive life in the forest is gripping, a master class in conveying tension. Gripping, too, are her accounts of the moral compromise that Jews had to make to avoid capture.
Frankel's research is first rate. Along with her primary interviews she cites a wide range of Holocaust survivors testimonies ... Frankel skillfully retells this complex story in a gripping narrative that reads like a page turning thriller novel. But Into The Forest possesses some minor flaws. On occasion Frankel's prose is awkward, clumsy, and verbose. The high-brow literary style she is clearly aiming for doesn't quite work. A more ruthless editor would have removed some of the egregious literary cliches that surface now and again. But these are minor technical pitfalls in what is otherwise a fascinating and emotionally gripping historical memoir.
... page-turning ... The history in question is all too familiar: World War II brings the Soviet invasion, with all its social upheavals, and then the even more brutal Nazi one. We know what will follow, or think we do. What distinguishes Into the Forest is the granularity and vividness of its storytelling – the product, in part, of Frankel’s close personal connection to her characters.
... fascinating and captivating ... Frankel draws on primary source materials, including interviews with members of the Rabinowitz family, to create a beautifully written account of escape and survival that will engage readers from the start. She shares her subjects’ stories with sensitivity and care ... This fast-paced book will find an eager audience among readers interested in Jewish, European, and World War II history; highly recommended.
... [an] extradordinary story ... Her well-flowing narrative includes synopses of crucial political and military episodes. Backstories and telling details bring major and minor characters to life. Sisters recall the minutiae ... The Rabinowitzes gave Frankel access to a trove of family documents, photos, and memories for this account of a lesser-known chapter of the Holocaust, which includes source notes and citations.
... full of telling details about life before, during, and after the Holocaust. While the central events are harrowing, the text has a gratifying ending. A gripping story of one family’s courage and resourcefulness under life-threatening conditions.
... gut-wrenching yet inspirational ... Amid the grim details, including adults suffocating infants in order to prevent their cries from revealing hiding spots, Frankel weaves in moments of remarkable resilience and good fortune ... Readers will be on the edge of their seats.