The Thought of High Windows


172 pages
ISBN 1-55337-621-8
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Susan Merskey

Susan Merskey is freelance writer in London, Ontario.


Whenever she is trapped or frightened, Esther sees windows—and flying
out of them—as her only salvation. She is young, Jewish, and on the
run from the Nazis. She worries about her looks. Because she is fat, she
feels frumpish, and the more popular girls tease her about her
appearance. Her “Old Jewish” background (meaning that she had lived
in the Jewish quarter of her hometown and her parents spoke to each
other in Yiddish) also makes her an object of ridicule. In addition, she
loves a boy who, at the best of times, treats her like a sister. As the
war continues and Esther witnesses its horrors, her pain and isolation
grow until only the highest windows can bring any promise of release.

The idea for this work of fiction originated from the true story of 100
children who escaped from Austria and Germany prior to the outbreak of
World War II. They moved first to Belgium and then to France, where they
lived in a barn behind the Chвteau de la Hille en Ariиge “under the
shadow of the Vichy government and the Nazis.” Several of the
survivors helped Kositsky with her research for the book.

Although Esther’s openly expressed feelings of angst and low
self-esteem seem anachronistic at times (it is, after all, the 1940s),
The Thought of High Windows demands attention, and once started, is hard
to put down. Recommended.


Kositsky, Lynne., “The Thought of High Windows,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,