As a reader, I am very sensitive to pain and suffering. I am unable to handle stories where cruelty and torture are described in depth. Stories about slavery, Nazi Germany, and patients dying of painful diseases are off-limits to me; they give me nightmares and feelings of helplessness and anger. I had to exert extreme self discipline to make it through Tressie, which gave me nightmares for days.
By chance, I just read the short story Verboten by Heather Osborne because I had no idea what it was about until I read the first page, and then I was hooked and could not put it down. It’s a beautifully written story set against the dark and hopeless background of Nazi occupation.
Irena Adler has promised her dead father that she will survive. The story is about her effort to do so. She endures hunger, humiliation, hatred from her enemies and her people, but she also experiences love and hope. I loved the ending. It was uplifting and brought tears to my eyes. This is a very talented author, and I hope to read more of her stories.