About the Munns:
Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm.
Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.
About How Huge the Night:
Fifteen-year-old Julien Losier just wants to fit in. But after his family moves to a small village in central France in hopes of outrunning the Nazis, he is suddenly faced with bigger challenges than the taunting of local teens. Nina Krenkel left her country to obey her father's dying command: Take your brother and leave Austria. Burn your papers. Tell no one you are Jews. Alone and on the run, she arrives in Tanieux, France, dangerously ill and in despair.
Thrown together by the chaos of war, Julien begins to feel the terrible weight of the looming conflict and Nina fights to survive. As France falls to the Nazis, Julien struggles with doing what is right, even if it is not enough-and wonders whether or not he really can save Nina from almost certain death.
Based on the true story of the town of Le Chambon-the only French town honored by Israel for rescuing Jews from the Holocaust-How Huge the Night is a compelling, coming-of-age drama that will keep teens turning the pages as it teaches them about a fascinating period of history and inspires them to think more deeply about their everyday choices.
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This story is based on actual events which occurred during WWII. Clearly, the Munns are familiar with the historical background as well as the setting. The story is told from the point of view of the teenagers involved, and gives insights into their emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual condition. I found the story to be slow in getting off the ground, and felt that there were too many characters, making it confusing and difficult to follow. The authors are fluent in French, and use a lot of that language throughout the story. I couldn't always grasp the meaning.
I liked how the Munns gave accurate historical details, even including a translation of actual speeches. The events were realistically portrayed. Since I am writing a story based on somewhat similar circumstances, I was looking for more depth and action. Since this is billed as being for teens and young adults, I wonder if it would capture their attention. There is a lot of competition these days from sci-fi, suspense, and thriller novels, but one can only hope that some will gravitate to this book and learn how it was to be a teen in the midst of war, in the 1940's. I didn't find this book a 'page turner', but it was good to read, since we worked with the same mission as the Munns in another part of the world.
This book may be purchased from http://www.amazon.com/ and other retailers. The book is published by Kregel Publishers.
I wish to thank www.litfusegroup.com for providing a copy of the book in return for my honest review.