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Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Secret of Priest's Grotto by Peter Lane Taylor
There is something about the Holocause that still draws an audience, young or old. And when you have a story that once again defies all odds, readers will be drawn to it. So it is with this book. A non-fiction pictorial of a story one man heard and then researched, it takes into account three Jewish families and the limits of humanity they endured in order to survive.
What's the record for the longest amount of time man has spent in a cave? Human isolation, sensory deprivation...like solitary but darker, deeper under the earth, claustrophobic...
The record was 205 days set my Michel Siffre in Texas's Midnight Cave. And he was given food, had modern clothing and lights. Toward the end of his stay, his mental and physical capacities had seriously deteriorated. It was excruciating.
This book is about the story of three families who fled into the longest horizontal cave in the world in the Ukraine, called Priest's Grotto. They survived in the not as modern world of 1943 far beyond what a modern explorer experienced but for much, much longer...and lived to tell their tale.
One word - intriguing... An amazing book for reluctant readers (short with many photos of the past and present) as well as for those whose interest lie in the Holocaust or tales of human struggle and survival against nature. An excellent addition to collections for junior high and up.