|image from LibraryThing|
This is a great one to sink into on a summer vacation afternoon...and I was lucky enough to do just that today! Sat out on my porch with a diet pepsi cooling on the coffee table and this book in my hands! It was wonderful!!
This is a WWII story of love and hardship and death and survival. It's one of those that is sometimes hard to read because we know the events in history that this is going to have to bump up against. But, you can't stop reading because of the characters, because you truly care about them, you want to see if they make it and come together again!
I LOVED IT!!!
The main character is Andras Levi, a Hungarian Jew who has won a prize to become a student of architecture in Paris. That is how the story begins - Andras getting ready to leave Hungary for Paris and his brother Tibor sending him off. But, there is a chance meeting with two people before he makes it to Paris. One is a mysterious older woman who asks him to mail a letter to C. Morganstern in Paris and the other is a kindly gentleman on his way back to Paris from Hungary, a Mr. Novak.
Like all great books - these encounters set up important events and characters. As chance sometimes happens in the interconnectedness of the Jewish world - these encounters lead Andras to life long love and occupation.
It was really interesting reading this from the Hungarian perspective - one that I don't think I have read before. I kept waiting on pins and needles for the awful Paris Jewish roundup that is the basis of Sarah's Key - another amazing WWII book. But, that didn't happen in the scope of this tale. Thank goodness!
Instead, this told the story of what it was like to be a Jew in a country that was part of the Warsaw pact, part of the losing team against the rest of the world. It also told of the kindness of Hungarians and the incredible cruelty. It portrayed the deep divides in the Jewish classes of excess before WWII. This is a story of love and survival.
I LOVED this book! I was transported to an uncertain and emotional world where humans can do so much more that we ever thought - both for good and evil!!
Highly Recommend this one!!!