Published by New Jewish Press on May 30th 2017
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Artur Mandelkorn is a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who is desperately trying to find his sister Manya. They became separated during the war and he continues to look for while while building a life for himself and his family while living on a kibbutz in Israel. We see Arthur grow from being a young man to being a widower with two sons. He lives primarily on a kibbutz in Israel but his story also takes him to London and eventually to Canada and back to Israel while he tries to connect with missing family members.
Suzy Kohn, is a teenager in Toronto, dealing with a family members death and first love. Her story is more of a coming of age tale.
Both of these characters stories are told but it is Arthur’s story that really resonated with me. I found his story to be more interesting and captivating. Eventually their two stories come together. I knew that they would when Suzy recalls being called “Manya” by her deceased Uncle. But how are they related and what happened to Manya all of those years ago.
I wish there was more of Arthur’s story. I also wish there was more of Manya. I wanted to see her story after they were separated. Her story is eventually told to Arthur, I just would have liked seeing more of her plight as well.
In all honesty, I could have done without Suzy’s story line. I know that the Canadian family story line served a purpose which becomes evident at the end of the book, but as I mentioned before, if this book would have been mainly about Arthur (or his missing sister or the older brother )I would have enjoyed it more. Having said that, I did like that Arthur got a chance to meet more family and have more answers concerning lost family members. This touched a cord with me as I have a Holocaust Survivor in my family. Just this year at the age of 95 she learned that one of her siblings survived (all this time she believed she was the only one who survived in her family). Unfortunately her brother died several years ago and she never got the chance to see him. The last time seeing him in person was when she was 15 years old. So the ending of this book was personal on that level for me.
I received a copy of this book from the Author in exchange for an honest review.