I fell immediately in love with this cover. I wish you could see the shimmery silver of the heron. I also fell in love with the heron. He’s actually a wonderfully dynamic and loving character in this amazing new novel by Alice Hoffman.
Hoffman is no stranger at tilting a bit into magical realism in her novels. But that is what she usually does; just dips her typing finger in. This time she jumps in with both feet and stomps up and down. It’s a wonderful story filled with Jewish mysticism and a wealth of very deep emotional feelings. It’s a novel way to bring yet one more slant to the history of WW11. But it’s so unique. You need this book!
In this lyrical tale a young German Jewish girl , Lea, is under the protection of a golem-a magical creature of Jewish myth made of mud and water. Ava, the golem, comes into being in Berlin in 1941. A Rabbi’s young daughter brings her seemingly to life after seeing her dad create a golem. Ettie, the daughter, has not been given permission to do this monstrous thing…
This story takes place between 1941 and 1944. It’s about survival at any cost. What would you do to keep your child alive?
The main human characters are working with the French resistance. The golem and the heron and Azriel, The Angel of Death, are supposedly not human. But the question is raised: What does it really mean to be human?
My favorite characters quickly became Ava and the talking heron. Their love story is moving and heartbreaking. I will never forget them. And neither will you.
I haven’t read about Jewish mysticism before. I found it both intriguing and troubling. It works in this novel.
There is a large cast of characters. They each have devastating stories to tell. Some of these stories might sound familiar, but you’ve never heard them told like this before. Hoffman brings us this stunning and beautiful tale that tells of the horrors of the Holocaust like never before.
Readers will be discussing this superb novel long into the future.
My review copy of THE WORLD THAT WE KNEW by Alice Hoffman arrived from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review! I knew it would be good, but honestly, I have to say it’s GREAT!
Copperfish Books will be offering THE WORLD THAT WE KNEW at 20% off. The pub date is officially today. We have them in stock ready to sell. Come on in to see us. This book is simply gorgeous!