mischlingThere is a lot I could  say about Mischling, Affinity Konar’s new Holocaust novel; it’s heartbreaking and beautiful and horrific. Twelve-year-old twin sisters Stasha and Pearl are sent to Auschwitz with their mother and grandfather, and come to the attention of the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele, who specialized in grotesque experiments on twins,  subjecting them to horrendous surgeries, among other atrocities.  Told in alternating chapters, the girls’ unadorned and unemotional voices  reveal the day-to-day battle to survive. Pearl is  meditative and restrained, and falls in love with Peter, a boy who lives in the Zoo with the other ill-fated children.  When she disappears, Stasha vows to find her and seek vengeance on Mengele. The author’s understated depiction of  the manifold horrors of Auschwitz also captures the resilience, extraordinary courage, and will to live of the children.





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