Journey Between Two Worlds
Karola M. Schuette
Koehler Books (2021)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (02/2022)
“Journey Between Two Worlds” is a wonderfully written memoir of a woman who spent a large part of her life caught up in what is, to a reader, a horrible time in the world’s history. It is a firsthand telling of growing up in Germany, poor because of the Great Depression and terrified because of the growing Nazi party and the fear of what was to come next. Ms. Schuette tells us her story of surviving these things, as well as the horror of World War II and how she finally was able to find the love of her life and, with him by her side, start a new life in America. She tells her story with great detail in a heart-warming and interesting way that keeps the reader involved and eager to continue.
The story is written so that we are able to understand the daily aspects of this woman’s life, whether they were horrible details from history or happy ones from when her life began anew. It is like the reader is a part of the war, the health problems traveling across the ocean, the confusion and sadness of entering a family where some members do not want you there, to the joy and happiness of newly born children and a new home. We are a part of it and we care because of the detailed and in-depth descriptions of the events, background, and emotions Ms. Schuette is feeling throughout the chapters she puts on the paper for the reader.
I truly enjoyed reading this story because of the way it was written and the ability for Ms. Schuette to make me understand just how brave she was, as she chose never to give up on her quest for freedom and happiness. That did not happen too many others during this time in history and this story makes the reader truly root for her to succeed. In addition, the story is filled with little bits of humor, which to me would be very hard to find given most of the circumstances and it is written in a way that makes you feel like you are a part of the family and she is telling you the stories face-to-face. That alone makes the reader feel, at the end of the book, that they were a part of her struggle and it was a wonderful feeling.
Finally, the fact that Ms. Schuette passed away and the book has become a tribute to her, carefully and lovingly edited by her daughter before its publication, makes it all the more inspiring and I would recommend it to everyone.