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Extended Audio Sample The Seamstress: A Memoir of Survival Audiobook, by Sara Tuvel Bernstein Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.00058788947678 out of 54.00058788947678 out of 54.00058788947678 out of 54.00058788947678 out of 54.00058788947678 out of 5 4.00 (1,701 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Tuvel Bernstein Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9781452675985
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Growing up, Sara (Seren) Tuvel was the smartest, most ambitious girl in her Romanian mountain village. When she won and accepted a scholarship to a Gentiles-only Gymnasium, she was forced to make a decision that would change her path forever. At thirteen, faced with a teacher's anti-Semitism, Seren walked out of her classroom and into a new existence. She became the apprentice to a seamstress, and her skill with needle and thread enabled her again and again to patch the fraying pieces of her life. As the Nazis encircled the country and bombs rained down, Seren stitched her way to survival, scraping together enough money to provide for her family. When she, her younger sister Esther, and two friends were sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp in Germany, the four girls became one another's shelter. Told with the same old-fashioned narrative power as the novels of Herman Wouk, The Seamstress is the true story of Seren (Sara) Tuvel Bernstein and her survival during wartime. A story of tragedy told in raw, powerful language, it is also a dramatic tale of courage, intimate friendship, romance, and startling good fortune that will have listeners cheering. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • There are many recent accounts of Holocaust victims, but this work stands alone as a testimony to personal strength and an independent spirit. Library Journal
  • “An engrossing history lesson as well as an important archive.”

    Faye Kellerman, New York Times bestselling author of Moon Music

  • “Well-told…deserves a prominent place in the archive of Holocaust survival stories.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “There are many recent accounts of Holocaust victims, but this work stands alone as a testimony to personal strength and an independent spirit.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 liz | 12/6/2016

    " This is probably one of the best books I have listened to. I have recommended it to others several times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hockeynancy | 2/12/2014

    " Yup. 5 stars. Read this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 2/8/2014

    " I will never look at a yellow VW Beetle the same way. I think before I say "I'm starving." I cried while reading this book. Highly recommend this book. A great history lesion, one that this world shall never repeat. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danette | 2/6/2014

    " One of the best Holocaust memoirs I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lindsay | 2/2/2014

    " One of the best books about endurance and life during the holocaust "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karah | 1/26/2014

    " Wow, I am humbled by what she endured. She gives such a stark discription of her experiences- you have to catch your breath sometimes. Keep a box of tissue handy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 1/25/2014

    " This book was unbelievable - the vivid accounts of these women surviving the camps was something I will not soon forget. Because it was a memoir and of course you know all along that Seren survives since she wrote the book - the number of near-death moments just were heartbreaking to read. Seren was just 44 pounds when she was liberated by the Allies - and she still had the strength to survive. Amazing book, amazing story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine Kessler | 1/23/2014

    " Survival narratives are tricky reads as I always question how people remember what they remember, particularly in times of crisis. As far as they go, this one was a relatively easy and enjoyable read. I like the straightforward telling of this tale and appreciate the historical data the author must have researched post concentration camp experience. Only a slight sense of the overdramatic dots the telling of Seren's courageous and terrifying journey. As evidenced in the epilogue, this extra zeal appears very much to be a consistent facet of her personality. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 1/22/2014

    " I loved this book, the memoir of a Seren Tuval, a Transylvanian Jew who barely survived the Holocaust. What I liked best about this book is how it is different from other accounts: It chronicals her entire life, not only her time in hell. We hear about her birth, her family and childhood, and how Seren grows to be a fiercely independent teen, out on her own. Her tenacity and sense of realism make her a hero to many, both before and during the Holocaust -- simply put, Seren challenges people to live, and almost dares them to die. After the horrors of the camps, we see her struggle to move forward after she is freed. I was so glad to be brought along for the journey each time Seren rediscovered another family member, and felt as if a friend had died when her life was over. The afterword by Seren's daughter was wonderful, and the love and pride shown through it, was so nice. I'm so happy I got the chance to learn about this one, very special life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 1/14/2014

    " The story was well told. What a tragic event in our history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa | 12/28/2013

    " Such a moving story. I loved the writing, the brutal honesty, and most of all I loved Seren's spirit. What a great example to all of us who moan about our lives. I recommend this one!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy Dawn Leavitt | 11/30/2013

    " Heartbreaking, like most Holocaust novels. I have never heard the story told from the Romanian side before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 11/26/2013

    " Moving memoir of Holocaust survival "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jayna | 11/21/2013

    " Not the very best Holocaust book I've read, but you really can't go wrong with such an amazing story of survival. Something I thought long about after I finished reading- Sara was one remarkable woman. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Judy Blankenship | 11/21/2013

    " this was a wonderful read of a truly horrible time in our history. We should never forget. Her feistiness got her through the war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 8/27/2013

    " I cried. Reading what Seren lived through amazes me. I couldn't put the book down, wanting to know how she survived. Absolutely loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Meredith | 5/29/2013

    " Very good Holocaust survivor's story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathryn | 12/31/2012

    " Perhaps it was just the wrong kind of read for me right now. I just couldn't make a connection with this book though it gets great reviews from most readers. I'll pick it up again another time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Lou | 12/12/2012

    " Though I rated this book "amazing" I'm not sure that is the correct word. This book was written so well, and is so interesting but very sad. Though Sara is now deceased she will remain in my thoughts for a long time. This really is a must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cori | 6/24/2012

    " Amazing courage, endurance and ability to not only survive herself but help others at the same time. She did not become mean or selfish even when she was starving and freezing herself. A real hero and amazing what the human spirit can do under extremely terrible conditions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 6/23/2012

    " One of the most moving, amazing books ive read in my life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica | 4/25/2012

    " This is a very difficult book about a woman who by luck and timing finds a way to survive such a horrific time in history. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susanna | 1/7/2012

    " Wow - this was phenomenal! I highly recommend it. It's a memoir of a holocaust survivor. Incredibly well written. Very thought-provoking. I couldn't put it down! "

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About the Author

Sara Tuvel Bernstein was born in Romania, became an expert seamstress, and survived the Ravensbrück concentration camp. After liberation, she married another Holocaust survivor and emigrated to Canada.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.