‘Hope is never lost; it just migrates.’
This is a novel about being Jewish, about loss and survival, and the impact of trauma. It is also about the meaning of family, and the bonds of friendship. There are two major characters, and the story shifts between them. The story moves between the past and present, between memories and hopes.
Artur Mandelkorn is a young Hungarian Holocaust survivor. He searches for the other members of his family, particularly for his sister Manya. When he became separated from her, she calls ‘Come back for me.’ Artur’s search takes him, somewhat reluctantly at first, to Israel.
Suzy Kohn is a teenager living in Toronto. The sudden death of her uncle has a huge impact on her family. Suzy drifts into a relationship, but comes to realise that something is missing.
As the novel shifts between Artur and Suzy, two quite different stories unfold. I admit that I was most caught up by Artur’s story, hoping that he could find his sister, hoping that he could find a path for himself. At first, Suzy’s story distracted me but I came to recognise her dislocation, her search for place and meaning. And then … well, you’ll need to read it for yourself. I’d hate to inadvertently spoil the impact of this novel on a first-time reader.
I finished the novel, wanting more. Knowing the past, wanting a clearer view of the future for Artur and for Suzy.
Note: I was offered, and accepted, a free electronic copy of this novel for review purposes.