Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature – March/April 2021
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries, cookbooks to kids’ books.
When their marriage – and their Victorian home – go up in flames, a couple must face the charred remains of both. But did the fire rob them of their past or free them from it? The novel draws on the biblical tale of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who is portrayed as a woman of fierce independence and unbridled sexuality. The protagonist sees his wife as his “Lilith” – until he unearths the tragic roots of her fervor. A love story like no other. “With prose that is insightful and slightly mystical, Golan questions the impossibility of happiness.”- Kirkus Reviews
From the New York Times Bestselling author of The Paris Architect: The life of Prince Markhov of the Imperial Court of Nicholas and Alexandra is changed when he witnesses the aftermath of the 1903 Easter Sunday pogrom. He is shocked by the brutality the Jews must endure in Russia. Does he stand by or fight injustice?
In bookstores and available as an e-book.
Interweaving mystery and historical research, The Paris Photo reveals wartime traumas rippling into the present. American soldier Ben Gordon assists a Parisian Jewish family just after Liberation in 1944. Decades later, Ben’s daughter finds a photograph of her late father in Paris with unknown women and a boy. Who were they? Why did her father never speak of them? She travels to France to learn, discovering much more than she anticipated. Named one of the “Best Books of 2019” by Kirkus Reviews, The Paris Photo richly depicts the human emotion that pervades our memories of the past.
Christian missionaries calling themselves messianic “Jews,” Jews ingratiating themselves to Evangelical Christians for their support of Israel, the overuse of the term “Judeo-Christian,” and the increasing use of Jewish rituals in Christian churches are among the factors that blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast explains, from a Jewish perspective, the irreconcilable differences and mutually exclusive beliefs of the two faiths.
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardcover, paperback and in all e-book formats.
Kirkus Review: “A multifaceted tale of faith and perseverance.” “Compelling reading.” Historical Fiction: The lives of Rabbi Chani and Marc Cohn become tumultuous following a secret mission Marc undertakes for Israel. Concomitantly, Chani is diagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease, and then unearths a family mystery at Yad Vashem. These situations lead the couple on a journey of discovery that culminates with opening a museum in Alaska honoring more than thirty Holocaust heroes, including the Nebraska philanthropist who saved eighty Jewish families from destruction, the group in the Philippines who saved 1,300 Jews, and the teenager who saved 15,000 French Jews.
Paperback 362 pages $12.95; Kindle & ebook -$2.99. Available from Amazon.com and other booksellers.
During 12-year-old Danny Bastrop’s first day in Florida for winter break with a grandmother he doesn’t remember he makes a friend, is confronted by neo-Nazis, meets an underwater archeologist and discovers he’s Jewish. From there it gets complicated. The second book in the young adult Danny Bastrop series is set on the Gulf Coast, and revolves around an artifact that could revolutionize theories on the origin of America’s first inhabitants. As he and his grandmother Zlota navigate their way amid treachery and danger, Danny learns Judaism is no abstract concept. It’s an identity.
Physician and poet Dr. Ronald Pies explores the dark valleys and bright horizons of medical care, focusing on the difficult journeys of both patients and family members. At once deeply personal and clinically precise, these heartfelt and lyrical poems will touch all who have dealt with serious illness.
Available via Amazon.com and cyberwit.net.
The inspirational and riveting biography of Henny Fletcher Aronson and her early life in Lithuania, her time spent in the Kovno ghetto and the Stutthof concentration camp and her survival of what came after. Henny narrates her history, giving the reader a glimpse of her struggles and achievements and her survival of German atrocities.
Available in soft cover or e-book on Amazon.com and bn.com. Soon to be available in audio book.
Eric was the child of a successful German Jewish family. Once Hitler came to power he was fortunate to be chosen for the Kinder Transport. In England, he joined the British army, becoming a saboteur, spending over 200 days behind German lines blowing up electrical transformers, slowing the construction of German machines of war. Many years later, Eric made a promise to his father to go back to work with the local Jewish community to resurrect the White Stork Synagogue. Eric’s efforts along with many others over more than ten years brought back the synagogue to its former glory.
Hard copy or digital version can be purchased from Amazon Kindle.