"Stunning" - Where Butterflies Go by Debra Doxer - Interview
"A stunning and highly emotional read that will grab you from the start and not let go."
—Passages to the Past
Where Butterflies Go
Meira Sokolow had the misfortune of being born to Jewish parents in Warsaw, Poland, in 1912. Before she took her first breath, her fate had been sealed.
Residing in the Jewish Quarter of the city, Meira's early life was typical. She fell in love with a local boy, got married, and had a daughter. Then the German army marched into Warsaw and everything changed. Forced into the ghetto with her family, she found survival to be a daily struggle. Hunger, disease, and unimaginable cruelty were her stark realities. When the ghetto was purged and she was sent to a concentration camp, Meira still had her family, and that was all that mattered. Then the camp was liquidated, and only a handful of survivors remained out of thousands. Meira Sokolow was one of them.
No longer a wife or mother, Meira emigrated to New York City. After World War II, the world wanted to move on and start a new chapter, but Meira couldn't turn the page so easily. She walked through her days alone, like a ghost with nothing to tether her to the earth. Then she met Max, a handsome American, who first mistook her for one of the boring socialites he encountered every day. He soon learned she was unlike anyone he had met before, seeing her strength and resilience, even when she couldn't. Max knew he could breathe life into her again, if only she would let him.
Tragic and heartfelt, Where Butterflies Go is based on the harrowing true story of one woman’s survival during the Nazi occupation of Poland, and her struggle to find meaning in the aftermath.
In the author's words . . .
Interview with Debra Doxer
Books & Benches: Everything we're hearing about this book tells us it is a must read, and one that will cause our hearts to pound and eyes to tear up, but let's hear a little more from the author . . .
What makes Where the Butterflies Go special or unique to you? Can you give us a little story behind the story?
I’ve always known my extended family was smaller than most. I didn’t have any aunts and uncles and cousins spread out all over the place like most of my friends seemed to have. When I was older, I learned that my father’s side of the family was almost wiped out in the Holocaust. I knew the Holocaust was a terrible thing, but it seemed so removed from my world. It stayed that way until my great aunt came to visit when I was in junior high, and she showed us a scar she had on her arm. She also had a story about how she got that scar. It was when she was in a concentration camp during World War II. As she proceeded to elaborate, tears sprang to my eyes. After that, the Holocaust was no longer a nebulous thing to me. It was real and stark and terrible. Her story stayed with me, and as I grew older and heard about groups of Holocaust deniers or others who believed the death toll was exaggerated, I knew it was important for my great aunt’s story and stories like hers to be told.
Which scene or chapter in the book is your favorite?
I like one of the lighter scenes when Meira meets Max in New York City for the first time. It shows her spunk and her humor. I really enjoy writing scenes with romantic chemistry and underlying tension.
Which scene was most difficult to write?
All of the ghetto and concentration camp scenes were difficult to write, especially the very last scene that Tovah is in. That one was excruciating at times. To make it even harder on myself, I probably rewrote it six or seven times, trying to get it just right.
What else have you written that our readers can learn more about?
I’m probably most known for a YA paranormal romance trilogy called Remedy. The first book is Keep You from Harm, and it’s the story of a girl with the power to heal people. That series was the most fun I’ve ever had writing. Everything I ever wanted to be and every quality I wish I possessed was put into the main character. Her love interest is the typical arrogant bad boy with a heart of gold. The whole story is a high school fantasy come true. To this day, I love revisiting that series.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I should probably say Jane Austen for Pride & Prejudice or Charles Dickens for A Tale of Two Cities, but instead I’m going to say Scott Smith for A Simple Plan. I’ve probably read A Simple Plan five times now. The plotting is absolutely perfect with not a single hole in sight. It’s fascinating how the story unfolds as you’re silently screaming at the characters not to do the thing you know will unravel everything. Every time I read it, I’m in awe of the effortlessness narration. In my opinion, if you like suspense novels, it’s about as perfect a story as anyone could write. I just love it!
"I do not have enough words for how amazing and touching this book is. In the running for best book of 2020."—Erin, Where fiction meets reality
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When not writing, she’s walking her Havanese puppy and forcing her daughter to listen to new wave 80s music.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 7, 2020
Content Note: PG
During the blog tour, the author is giving away three $25 Amazon Gift Cards! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
Open to US only. By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old. Void where prohibited by law. This giveaway ends November 13, 2020. This giveaway is sponsored by the author and hosted by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.
Good luck everyone!
"Meira's story has shook me to the very core of my being. I was utterly spellbound from start to finish." —Laura, Tangents and Tissues
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