I picked up Berlin Olympics assuming it was about a real person. Sure, I expected historical fiction, but my knowledge of Olympic swimmers is not good enough to have known that Eleanor Rhys Davies is not a real person.
In the beginning, I was disappointed. I don’t know why; I don’t know what I expected. Yet, as I read on, the story grew on me. What I enjoyed most of all is how natural the whole story feels, echoing classics like The Diary of a Young Girl. Eleanor, like Anne Frank, spoke to me through the pages of the book, making me believe in her and understand her.
Written as a series of diary entries, Berlin Olympics is the story of a young swimmer growing up in the 1930s. With Mosley and Hitler rising to power, Eleanor almost feels guilty that she does not experience the fear and hardships her Jewish friend Sarah does. The 1936 Olympics make all her questions rise to the fore. Eleanor is angry and disgusted with the treatment of Jews, more so because her gentle friend Sarah is a living example of how misplaced people’s prejudices against Jews are.
|Rating (out of 5)||3|