This riveting novel is packed with danger, tragedy, grief, and characters who stare at the face of pure evil and make the decision to get between it and their loved ones, whatever the cost. Nazis downstairs, 13 Jews hiding in the attic, and death around every corner is the day-to-day reality for a Polish teen and her 6-year-old sister. Based on a true story, The Light in Hidden Places shows the toll on daily life in a world where there's no hope, no good options -- yet still unexpected glimmers of kindness, love, and humor. Through it all, Stefania, aka Fusia, is a force to be reckoned with, as here, where she rescues her little sister from the farmer who's been physically abusing her:
"'God is going to pay you back,' I said.
"He looked a little startled.
"'For every time you hit her, I'm going to pray that a German soldier comes and beats you ten times with a club. And for every day you made her go hungry, I'm going to pray that you go ten days with nothing to eat and especially nothing to drink. I'm going to pray that you come out in boils. That you're bitten by a rabid dog. That your teeth turn black and your ... your parts fall off ...' I glanced down, and so did he. 'And that that nasty vodka you brew in that barn of yours rots you slowly from the inside out!'
"Mr. Zielinski opened his mouth. And closed it again.
"'And between the two of us, Mr. Zielinski, I think you know whose prayers God is going to answer, you miserable schmuck.'"