This Book Makes Time Disappear — 6 years ago
You know a book is well written when you lose track of time whenever you sit down to read it. I raced through this book in under a week because every time I picked it up I never wanted to put it down. Taking place during World War I, “Charity Girl” is the story of Freida Mintz, a young girl who is incarcerated by the military after testing positive for venereal disease. Shockingly, the story is based on an actual government program that was instituted to protect soldiers from VD. Girls were rounded up and detained for months at a time for the sole crime of having an STD.
The pace of the story is spectacular. It moves slowly but only because Lowenthal breathes such life into individual scenes. He paints a picture with so much detail the reader feels as though she is in the moment with the characters. This wealth of detail extends to the characters themselves who Lowenthal has definitely taken the time to get to know. He knows exactly what they want, what is standing in their way, and how they are going to get it.
A book about the limits of freedom and the freedom inhenrent in limitation, the book concerns itself with themes of duality and paradox. The Madonna/Whore dicotomy is thoroughly scrutinized, as is the nature and use of morality. This is a heavy and at times heartbreaking read, one that is well worth the time and effort.