Thursday, September 27, 2012

*[Blog Tour Review & Interview] Felice's World's by Henry Massie

Felice's Worlds
Blog  Banner  Felice's_Worlds_banner

Felice Massie was a student in France, caught up in the horrors of Naziism when she was 20 years old. Cut off by the war from her family living in a small village in Poland, she shifted from one country to another attempting to find a home for herself and a means to rescue her parents, brother and sister. As the Holocaust descended on her shtetl, she arrived penniless in America. Over time she raised a family and amassed one of foremost collections of American modern art. Her boldness and resilience became a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.
Summary & Photo taken from
Length: 211 pages
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: February 14th 2012
First off I'd like to thank Deborah from Pump Up Your Book for inviting me to join the tour for Felice's Worlds, without her I doubt I would have found this book and after reading it I am even more glad that she invited me.
Felice's World was an interesting and dynamic read, one that I'm super glad to have had the pleasure to read and review for the author Henry Massie. I've not had much experience reading memoirs about Holocaust survivors so in that aspect this book was a departure from my usual reads albeit a very welcome one.
The book, written by Felice's son author Henry Massie was a wonderful read.I enjoyed learning about Felice's early childhood and the journey as she grew from a child to a strong, knowledgeable woman. I say I enjoyed it because while the fact that she lived during WWII in Poland until she was able to leave for Palestine I think that the experiences she went through should not be forgotten. 
I think what I most enjoyed about the book was the way the author penned it. You could tell through his writing how much he loved, respected and adored his mother and I think this book is the perfect gift from a son to a mother. It was written in such loving detail I couldn't help but be moved by Felice's story.
I would recommend this book to all readers who enjoy biographies and autobiographies especially those who have a special interest in accounts told by Holocaust survivors. This was such a good read and it opened my eyes to a lot. I highly recommend this book to all of my followers. This is one biography that you should not miss out on reading.
*I received a free copy in exchange for my free and honest review. I was not compensated in any way and all thoughts and opinions expressed therein are my own.

Really Liked It!
★ ★ ★★
To purchase Felice's Worlds via Amazon CLICK HERE
Author  Henry Massie
Henry Massie is a psychiatrist, award-winning author, and pioneering researcher in the field of autism. FELICE’S WORLDS–From the Holocaust to the Halls of Modern Art, is the a memoir and biography of his mother, a brilliant and beautiful woman who participated in many of the most critical periods of the 20th Century.
Website Address:
Twitter Address: @booksbnimble
Interview with Henry Massie
1) First of all, please tell us a special something about what makes you "tick." When you aren't writing, what are you doing.
When I'm not solving my fictional characters' problems or recreating real people's lives on paper, I'm in my office consulting with patients, trying to help them solve problems in real life. I'm a psychiatrist. And when doing none of the above, I may be walking with my dog on Goat Rock beach in northern California.
2) You chose a specific genre, a place and time to write about, what made you choose it?
The genre chose me. Felice's Worlds is a biography of my mother, in a sense her memoir. It is often in the very words she used to tell me about her life and adventures during some of the critical periods of the 20th century. It is also a double-memoir about how her brilliance, boldness and emotional burdens affected me. Her story was dying to be told.
Currently I am working in the very different genre of a highly fictionalized account of how somebody I knew was influenced by his friendship with Marilyn Monroe when he was in high-school and she was in her thirties, in the two years before her death. It is called Prom Date. I fell into writing it because of my fascination with people's desires and dreams and how they turn out.
3) Please share with your readers where you like to write. Do you have a particular space or desk? What can you see from your desk? Do you have props you use to write from? What about special "charms?"
I have three desks: one in my office where I keep charts and so forth, one in a study in my house in Berkeley where I pay bills, and one at my cabin near Guerneville, California, near where the Russian River flows into the Pacific Ocean. The desk at the cabin is where I do my writing. I need to escape from the city desks to the cabin to be creative. "Living on the river," as people say, is to live in another world that fosters fantasies. From my desk there I see three redwood trees reaching to the sky, climbing so high that I can't even see their tops if I put my face to the window and peer up. My desk is completely cluttered with paper, clippings, and notes to myself. My two desks back in town are neat and orderly. The trees outside my window are my writing totems.
4) In your opinion, what makes a book a great one?
A great book has to suck me into it like a whirlpool. After a spell of reading, the characters and their dilemmas in a great book make me feel so tense that I need to put the book down and get some breathing space. The language and imagery has to be alive and poetic. I don't think books that obsess over little details and tiny shades of meaning and feeling are great (I call them dandelion cottage books) even though many critics adore them.
5) Which author(s) most influenced your love of books from childhood?
Starting in about fourth grade I read every Hardy Boy adventure that came out. They still influence my writing. In sixth grade I switched to a series of books about American history for young people. They taught me about real people and events. My interest in character developed in high school when I started reading Faulkner. My favorite was his novella The Bear.
7) Please share with us the underlying message of your book. What would you like your readers to take away after having read the book?
There are several themes running through Felice's Worlds: 1) War endures through millennia in the land called Palestine and Israel because of the never-ending folly of men with guns, 2) Those who suffered the Holocaust have passed their psychological trauma from one generation to the next and the next, 3) Traumatized though they may be, some people show amazing emotional resilience, 4) Beauty may save the soul, but only so far.
I'm content if readers understand these things better after reading Felice's Worlds.
8) Were you able to keep your original title? What was it, if not?
The title of Felice's Worlds was fluid, a shifting about work in progress as long as the book was a work in progress. It didn't crystallize until the book was finished, with help from the publisher.
9) Is there a song or music in general that might best represent your book as a theme song.
Yes, Eastern European klezmer music captures the book. The publisher, BooksBnimble, created a video trailer for Felice's Worlds, with an excerpt of Felice speaking about her past when she was in her seventies, and with pictures of her village on the Polish-Russian border, and her home and art in America. The trailer's klezmer music has snippets of jazz from the 1930s, gypsy rhythms, and Jewish folk melodies. You can access the trailer by going to YouTube, or via the publisher's website, or via the Amazon listing for the book, I believe.
10) If you could write your book again, what would you change?
Felice's Worlds went through three or four drafts, with input from friends and two editors. For the final draft I told myself this time I want to get it right, leave nothing I'm dissatisfied with on the page, say what I want to say, and say it cleanly once a for all. I'm satisfied with what's there.


  1. Being a psychiatrist must give him a lot of fodder for his novels!

  2. First i want a desk by the river and a really comfy chair to read in..*green with envy here* I am delighted you were able to share your mother's story. I love books written about people during this era and harsh time. It is amazing me the strength they have to pick up and move on.
    so glad you enjoyed this book Kim, if you'd like recommendations on similar books, let me know.

  3. Thanks Kimberly! I would love rec's for similar books to this one :) Thanks again for stopping by!

  4. Nice post. I learn something more challenging on different blogs everyday. It will always be stimulating to read content from other writers and practice a little something from their store. I’d prefer to use some with the content on my blog whether you don’t mind. Natually I’ll give you a link on your web blog. Thanks for sharing.

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