Home | Posts RSS | Comments RSS | Login

book review: "The Hours Count"...

Sunday, March 5, 2017
...by Jillian Cantor, published in 2015. Fascinating. I read while traveling in the past week or so, driving across north GA, and then the one-day, flying-low trip to Valdosta and back. I think there were ten CD's in the box, so it kept me entertained for hours.

It is fiction, but based on some very thorough research about people who were in the news in the late 1940's and early '50's. The back story would be familiar to anyone interested in post WWII history, and the scary situation between Russia and the US during the early years of Cold War/McCarty witch hunt in Congress. Cantor writes about a fictitious character who was a neighbor of the Rosenbergs when the young couples lived on the same floor, in an apartment complex in New York City. The story is told from the point of view of a young mother who was married to a Russian immigrant. Millie befriended Ethel Rosenberg, when they met in the elevator of their apartment building and discovered they had children that were about the same age.

Millie's child, if living in this era, would likely have been diagnosed as autistic, as he did not speak for many years.  Though Millie tried to get  therapy and treatment to help her son 'find his voice', he was mute until a teenager. As the mothers care for each others children, and find opportunities to meet, share coffee, meals, play time with sons, they begin to care deeply for each other. Millie especially dependent on Ethel's attention and support as she was living in a loveless marriage to a man she feared.

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were, in truth, the only Americans sentenced and executed for espionage during the Cold War. They were accused of providing information about military secrets, bomb building schematics to the Russians. The info. I found indicated they were guilty, but also that they were railroaded. They had two sons, who ended up being adopted by a couple who chose to change the boys last names.  Millie was caring for the boys when Ethel went to testify before the grand jury, and was arrested before she could return home. Never had a chance to talk to the boys or say good by.

I did not know much about this story,  not remembering about the Rosenbergs from history class, or just not relating to something that seemed so distant. So I googled them up and read about these Russian spies in an article from Wikipedia. Fascinating.

0 comments to book review: "The Hours Count"...:

Post a Comment