Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin 1


Among the Branded

“The letter could sit on a shelf, along with Isadore’s number, collecting dust, becoming less meaningful to me as the months and years went by … But my belief in fate was strong, one that I couldn’t shrug off with apprehension.”

In Among the Branded, little does Stephanie know that by buying a few old love letters from WWII, her life would change forever. One of the letters contained not a love letter, but a letter from a woman pleading for her life and the lives of her children to be saved from a German concentration camp. The birthdate of one of the children, Isadore, catches Stephanie’s eye as it’s the same date her late father was born. She feels she should try to find Isadore and give him the letter at least, but hopefully find out more of his story.

I was given the opportunity to review this book in exchange for a free copy through Kate Tilton’s Book Bloggers. The storyline sounded interesting and I do love historical fiction. Finding a letter from WWII was something different, making the book more of historical fiction set in the present.

Stephanie does find Isadore and while at first he doesn’t want to share much of his time in Germany as a child, he eventually warms up to Stephanie and her family. Isadore’s wife had died several years beforehand and they had no children so spending time with Stephanie’s family gave him a sense of family again. After revealing his story, he decides he would like to thank the women who rescued him and took him in as a hidden child. Stephanie tries to track them down for him.

I enjoyed reading this book as it was an original story. Parts of it were a little hard to read as it was written in first person. For example, when Stephanie visits the Holocaust Museum, you are there in the first person. I have been there and something strikes my soul hard when I think about being there.

I would recommend this book to any adult who enjoys historical fiction. It reminds the reader that history needs to be recorded and shared before it gets lost.

What is your favorite historical fiction book? Comment below!

Buy the book here (affiliate link).


About Sarah Anne Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Family life keeps her busy, but any spare moment is spent reading, writing or thinking about plots for novels.


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One thought on “
Among the Branded by Linda Smolkin”

  • Linda Smolkin

    Thank you, Sarah! I love your review and the quote you pulled from the book. Sorry it was hard for you to read the part about the Holocaust Museum. It was not an easy part to write on an emotional level. I’ve actually been several times, but I went a few months before writing that scene so it was fresh in my mind. Thanks again for reading my book–and recommending it!