The Hours Count 5/5 Stars On June 19, 1953, Ethel and11/30/2021, 4:41:16 PM
The Hours Count 5/5 Stars On June 19, 1953, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were executed for conspiring to commit espionage. Later they became the only Americans put to death for spying during the Cold War. The day Ethel was first arrested, she left her two young sons with a neighbor and never came home again. Author Jillian Cantor reimagines the life of that neighbor, creating Millie Stein—a lonely mother to a son who isn’t developing mentally like normal children do, and wife to an unloving, cold husband. Millie and Ethel become friends soon after Millie moves into Knickerbocker Village in New York’s Lower East Side and it isn’t too long after that their lives begin changing. Millie is trusting, naive and eager to change her life, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to tell who she can trust. Can she trust Ethel? Can she trust her husband? Can she trust Jake, a psychologist who has been helping her son David, whom she has formed a deep connection with? Or is everyone involved with dangerous political affiliations that will get them sent to prison? I love historical fiction. I love how it allows me to empathize and understand important historical events in a new way. I read this without refreshing my memory on the Rosenbergs, so I was gripped to the end to find out what would happen to them. Even if you do go in knowing their fate, Millie’s story is no less gripping and emotional. Although I have not been in the same situation Millie was in, she felt so real and human to me, that I felt like I understood her and her thought processes. I was deeply invested in her happiness and what decisions she would make. Keep in mind that this is more Millie’s story than the Rosenbergs, but overall it felt like a story of wives and mothers just trying to do the best they could to take care of their families. I found the incorporated true facts blended seamlessly with the fiction and over all fascinating, emotional, educational, and heart wrenching. If you had a way to possibly save the life of a friend, at the cost of losing your own children and ruining your own innocent life, would you do it?