Linda Kass

Tasa's Song

She Writes Press 2000

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Historical FictionNew Books Network September 7, 2016 C.P. Lesley

Although the Holocaust inflicted extreme brutality wherever it occurred, the specific events associated with the violence differed from one place to another. In Tasa’s...

Although the Holocaust inflicted extreme brutality wherever it occurred, the specific events associated with the violence differed from one place to another. In Tasa’s Song (She Writes Press, 2016), Linda Kass weaves stories of her own mother’s life in eastern Poland under Soviet and Nazi occupation to create a universal story of suffering and survival.

Tasa Rosinski is a violinist, a child prodigy living in the Polish village of Podkamien, when Adolf Hitler is elected chancellor of Germany in 1933. At ten, her world revolves around school, music, and play–secure amid a loving family, friendly neighbors, and a teasing older cousin who has become her best friend. But as Tasa matures into adolescence and moves to the nearby town of Brody for schooling, the influence of antisemitism on her native Poland grows steadily. Life becomes increasingly unsafe for a Jewish girl, however gifted.

In 1939, just before the outbreak of war, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact transfers Tasa’s region to Soviet control. The USSR invades: demands for socialist realism eliminate the study of Polish literature, Marxist-Leninist ideology replaces religion, and students with questionable political connections disappear from the school. The Soviets deport several of Tasa’s relatives to Siberia. Yet Tasa and those close to her will soon recast their oppressors as liberators. Because in June 1941, Hitler orders his forces to attack the USSR, turning Tasa’s home into a battleground.


C. P. Lesley is the author of six novels, including Legends of the Five Directions (The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse, and The Swan Princess), a historical fiction series set in 1530s Russia, during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Find out more about her at http://www.cplesley.com.

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