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Reviews

“Izzy’s Fire is filled with the passion of one woman determined to do justice to the story of another woman who lived in hiding throughout the war years. The war has soul. One feels the intensity of the struggle to survive. One senses the decency of those who were ready to rescue and the evil that haunted a mother and father and their young child in the dangerous world they lived.

Nancy Wright Beasley has told a powerful story with dignified restraint. She has given voice to an underreported side of the Holocaust – life in hiding.”

Michael Berenbaum, Project Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (1988-1993): Author of the The World Must Know: The History of the Holocaust as told in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

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“Overall, Izzy’s Fire is an accessible and outstanding piece of Holocaust literature.”

Martin Goldman, Director of Survivor Affairs, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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“…A fascinating account of a few Jewish families that escaped the horrors of the Ghetto in Kovno and by some miracle survived the war years in one of the most hostile environments to Jews on the European continent. It is a document of unlimited courage and devotion, of boundless hope and passion to survive…It is also an account of the very rare occasions when decent Lithuanian people were willing to provide shelter to the escapees at risk to their lives. This book is another very important addition to the history of the Holocaust.”

Abe Larwe, editor-English section of Gachelet,
a publication of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel

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“Nancy is a passionate, dedicated writer who has written a searing story, sure to capture readers with Izzy’s Fire. She proves herself to be a story teller who uses firsthand accounts and research with equal resolve.”

Adriana Trigiani, Author of the Big Stone Gap trilogy

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“…Through her [Eta Ipp] eyes, we see her stepfather mouthing advice as he’s driven off on the back of a truck to his death; through her ears we hear her uncle and husband describe slave labor as well as resistance efforts; through her senses we learn what it feels like to share an underground space 9 by 12 by 4 with a dozen other people, all the while wishing she were somewhere else, and occasionally that they were someone else. The reader cannot help but sympathize with her as she shares her regrets at the loss of friends and family, her dread in the face of what Hannah Arendt calls ‘the banality of evil.’

…Because of the nature of what they describe, Holocaust accounts do not make easy reading. As the generation of eyewitness ages, the effort to capture their stories on tape, in print, in photos and video, continues. Izzy’s Fire is part of that effort, to ensure future generations may learn and remember.”

Judi Goldenberg, Richmond Times-Dispatch

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“Izzy’s Fire” is a moving story of unbelievable hardships about a Jewish Lithuanian family’s struggles and how finding refuge with a poor Catholic farm family was key to their survival. It’s a beautifully told story that weaves the importance of Jewish traditions with the atrocities of the Holocaust, while making one survivor’s tale very personal.”

Ann Augherton, Managing Editor
Arlington Catholic HERALD

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The author has done a masterful job of portraying a gripping saga of one family’s courageous fight for survival in the midst of the most horrendous event in human history. The story plumbs the depths of horror and despair of the Holocaust, yet, through it all, speaks strongly of hope and faith.

Though fully recognizing the pattern of treachery, deceit, and betrayal that characterizes too much of human life, Izzy’s Fire depicts an example of human caring that bridges the deep chasm that sometimes separates Jewish and Christian communities. As a staunch Catholic acts to protect a Jewish family, the Ipson story tells us that human solidarity is still possible even in the darkest moments of human history. We’re talking the stuff of miracles here and Nancy Wright Beasley has captured it well.”

Tom Graves, President, Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond;
Board of Directors, Virginia Holocaust Museum

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“From the first pages of Izzy’s Fire: Finding Humanity in the Holocaust, I was enthralled… This author, one of the most powerful and genuine storytellers I’ve ever read, has a gift–letting the voice of the characters tell their own story.

Izzy’s Fire should be required reading in public schools across America, not only to put a face and name to the horrors of the evil that man can do, but to also demonstrate the resilience of man’s ability to overcome when the odds are stacked against him. This book brought history alive for me and sent me running to the Virginia Holocaust Museum. It will do the same to you.”

Rebekah L. Pierce, editor
Average Girl Magazine

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“Having known Izzy Ipson as a congregant, this book conveys the very essence of his character. Izzy’s Fire demonstrates the hidden miracles that are in our lives and the ability of individuals to persevere and maintain their integrity through very trying circumstances. This book conveys a very positive, moral message with good ethical teaching. It will allow students to learn about the Holocaust through the experience of the Ipson’s personal story. “

Rabbi Zvi Ron
Keneseth Beth Israel (Orthodox)

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