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The Children's War - J.N. Stroyar


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Guest John Self

I'd never heard of this book before reading about it on BGO. It seems bizarre that a book which seems to achieve more or less universally orgiastic responses from real people (you lot!) hasn't been picked up by a publisher in the UK. Does anyone know if this is imminent?

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Does anyone know if this is imminent?

 

I certainly haven't seen anything about it being published here, and indeed J N Stroyar's website hasn't changed in a few years - she certainly hasn't appeared to have written/or been working on anything else, which is a great pity. I'll have another scout about - you've raised my interest again.

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Another look around www, and nothing. Her website is the same as always and notes that she is a full-time physicist - maybe more books are not on the cards. As for UK publishing - it doesn't look likely as I can only find her for Simon & Schuster USA and Canada.

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  • 1 year later...

Finished this yesterday, eventually! I did enjoy it, particularly the very realistic psychological aspects of what happened to Peter and the other characters.

 

I didn't dislike Zosia, but I found it easier to sympathise with Peter since he was the one whose suffering was described in such excruciating detail. I think there were aspects of Zosia that were very shadowy compared to Peter: we were inside his head so much more, so he was easier to understand.

 

I think what RR says about Zosia's background is important to remember while reading this, though I do think her actions are quite appalling in some instances.

 

One of the things I disliked about the book was the excessive use of exclamation marks to convey emotion. In a book that manages to convey so much emotion so subtly, why the exclamation marks? It's a small point, but it really did irritate me.

 

I'm going to post in more detail on the spoiler-free thread.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 11 years later...

So confused now...

Amazon has these novels available:

The Children's War https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ChildrenS-War-STROYAR-2002-08-19/dp/B01N6M8VMG/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=stroyar&qid=1611001296&sr=8-3

For some reason the hardcover is £7.60 while the paperback is £47.50 - but there is no Kindle edition.

Then... there is this edition https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0743407393/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i3

which is £7.60 hardover (again) but only £12.55 paperback.

And book 2 - A Change of Regime is now £33.47 hardback and £18.40 paperback - but £2.20 on Kindle.

And book3 - Which I though was Becoming Them (which I have on Kindle) now seems to be three volumes:

Becoming Them - Part I: The Home Front: 3 (The Children's War)
Becoming Them - Part II: A Quiet Resolve: 3 (The Children's War)

Becoming Them - Part III: As Once in a Dream: 3 (The Children's War)

 

It's all very confusing!

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This is from the forward to Becoming Them.

 

The fiction of The Children’s War and A Change of Regime, this book’s predecessors, was less fiction than a rewriting and weaving together of various personal histories. The characters are inventions, but in general the events are not. Some of the stories dated from the Second World War from Europe, some from the present from elsewhere. They were all united by the common thread of individuals denied basic human rights and, to a greater or lesser extent, their humanity. Of those who spoke to me personally, many imparted their tales only under conditions of absolute anonymity, for they still had much to fear and did not want themselves or their loved ones to become nothing more than an obscure line at the bottom of a newspaper column. To this end, a fictional tale seemed the best way of telling their stories, of imparting a sense of the humans behind the statistics. These stories are completed in Becoming Them. As before, the setting within Nazi Germany is a convenience and in no way is meant to reflect upon modern Germany or its people. The Third Reich is used solely to provide the reader with a familiar and historical representation of any number of repressive governments, regimes, or authorities. It is a reminder, too, that no people, no matter how advanced their civilization, should take their liberties or human rights for granted.

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On 19/01/2021 at 13:40, tagesmann said:

This is from the forward to Becoming Them.

 

The fiction of The Children’s War and A Change of Regime, this book’s predecessors, was less fiction than a rewriting and weaving together of various personal histories. The characters are inventions, but in general the events are not. Some of the stories dated from the Second World War from Europe, some from the present from elsewhere. They were all united by the common thread of individuals denied basic human rights and, to a greater or lesser extent, their humanity. Of those who spoke to me personally, many imparted their tales only under conditions of absolute anonymity, for they still had much to fear and did not want themselves or their loved ones to become nothing more than an obscure line at the bottom of a newspaper column. To this end, a fictional tale seemed the best way of telling their stories, of imparting a sense of the humans behind the statistics. These stories are completed in Becoming Them. As before, the setting within Nazi Germany is a convenience and in no way is meant to reflect upon modern Germany or its people. The Third Reich is used solely to provide the reader with a familiar and historical representation of any number of repressive governments, regimes, or authorities. It is a reminder, too, that no people, no matter how advanced their civilization, should take their liberties or human rights for granted.

Thanks for that, Tag. I love books like that and have read a few.

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The Children's War fans might, like me, have missed tagesmann's post in January, heralding the publication of Becoming Them, the very long-awaited third volume of J.N. Stroyar's enthralling trilogy - so I am bumping  this thread up  to give you all a second chance.

If you have not read The Children's War, you have missed a real reading experience.!

 

Have you read Becoming Them yet, tag?

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      #3
      23rd August 2006, 10:12 AM
       
      Hazel
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      I still don't really like Zosia, even after reading the follow-up A Change of Regime, which just compounded my reasons for not liking her. I think in some ways she was just as bad as the people she was fighting, in her ability to cold-heartedly use and abuse people. I certainly didn't see her as some sort of hero/freedom-fighter.
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      #4
      23rd August 2006, 10:26 AM
       
      Royal Rother
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      I really think Zosia needs to be judged in the context of her role in life. She could not possibly be a cold professional killer, a freedom fighter, a leader of a bunch of people facing persecution, danger and possibly death every moment of her / their lives, and yet also be a normal and stable person able to engage in straightforward relationships.
       
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      #5
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      Momo
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      That wouldn't have been normal, either. You always have to see people with their background. Of course, you can always say that fighting is wrong, no matter what the cause is. But I think when you degrade people to the kind of subhuman beings they are degraded inthis book (and were degraded during the Nazi regime), you begin to be either a fighter or you give up. It's like in wildlife, fight or get killed, be a predator or its prey. Zosia didn't even decide for herself what she wanted to be, it was decided for her by her parents. As it was decided for so many other people just by their birth or the place they happened to be in at a certain time.
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      #6
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      Hazel
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      I do agree with you RR in some sense, but for me the characterisation of everyone else was so spot on that Zosia's just jarred. I found her swings from cold hearted killer, to soft, and loving too much of a swing. It's hard to fully explain because a lot of what I judge her by features in ACOR, but compared to Ryksard (who ultimately is my favourite character) who was not so black and white, and had a truly tortured soul, Zosia just didn't grab me at all. I think Zosia did what she wanted most of the time and to hell with anyone else, and she used her feminity, and used other's feelings to manipulate events to the way she wanted them. I much preferred the 'greyness' of Ryksard and Peter.
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      #7
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      Momo
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      True, they were the "nicer" guys, though they did their bits of killing as required. Of course, I haven't read ACOR, yet, since I'm still waiting for the copy to arrive, should be here soon, though. Maybe we should start another thread on that one once more people have read it.
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      Royal Rother
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      23rd August 2006, 04:09 PM
       
      Momo
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      #10
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      Hazel
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      But Zosia certainly knew how to re-feminise herself when it was required, and she didn't always use that to an unselfish end. That was my main problem with her.
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      #11
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      Momo
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      I can see why you didn't like her or why anybody might not like her. I just try to see her from another side. We all have different experiences and there are certainly situations where everyone of us would have reacted completely different.
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