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The Postcard – Anne Berest

The Postcard – Anne Berest

I managed to borrow this from the library using my Kobo – it was very easy. I have known about this book for a while and was keen to read it, but it took some time to get to it.

Here’s the blurb …

Winner of the Choix Goncourt Prize, Anne Berest’s The Postcard is a vivid portrait of twentieth-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life, an enthralling investigation into family secrets, and poignant tale of a Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust and partly restored through the power of storytelling.

January, 2003. Together with the usual holiday cards, an anonymous postcard is delivered to the Berest family home. On the front, a photo of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. On the back, the names of Anne Berest’s maternal great-grandparents, Ephraïm and Emma, and their children, Noémie and Jacques—all killed at Auschwitz.

Fifteen years after the postcard is delivered, Anne, the heroine of this novel, is moved to discover who sent it and why. Aided by her chain-smoking mother, family members, friends, associates, a private detective, a graphologist, and many others, she embarks on a journey to discover the fate of the Rabinovitch family: their flight from Russia following the revolution, their journey to Latvia, Palestine, and Paris. What emerges is a moving saga that shatters long-held certainties about Anne’s family, her country, and herself.

This was a very interesting story, and I am very impressed at how Anne and her mother found all of the information. It’s a sad story and you have to wonder how much past trauma effects the next generation. Knowing what happens in WW2, I wanted them to stay in Palestine, and then leave France, sadly they just kept trying to do the right thing, assuming everyone would be decent people.

A review.

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Filed under 3, Biography, Digital, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Memoir