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This book is born of silence – the silence of Yareach’s grandmother Manya concerning all that she went through during the Second World War. Until the day she died, she never said a word about her childhood, her youth, her first marriage, or the story of her eldest daughter. And it is this black hole of absence that fired the author’s imagination and curiosity, and set him off on his journey into the past.

The novel opens with a bourgeois Jewish family in Krakow, living through one of the darkest times in history. Manya was 23 years old when the Nazis invaded Poland. She just married her dream boy, Max, a happy young woman about to lose her youth.Slowly, the events start to surface: new rules, beatings in the streets, Jews must wear Magen David sign, their business is taken away. Soon after, she and her entire family were “resettled” in the ghetto, then they were moved to a labor camp at Plaszow, and finally Manya, separated from Max, was herded onto a transport, destination Auschwitz. Miraculously, Manya survived. In the last chapter, she slowly rebuilds her life in Israel with her daughter Lala , saved by a Polish family who hid and protected her throughout the war, new husband whom she met at a displaced persons camp, and their shared newborn.

Although it is written from a great distance in time, this gripping book conveys a sense of immediacy and discovery. Yareach has created a narrative of great emotional depth.

Title Subhistory
Writer's Last Name Yareach
Writer's First Name Yuval
Genre Fiction
Publisher (Hebrew) Kinneret, Zmora-Bitan
No. Pages 560pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Ha-shtikot
  • “This book is a landmark in Holocaust literature”

  • “Yareah has created an entire world, and we are drawn into it, absorbed by the cracks, down to the roots of the hairs and the marrow of the bones of the living body that arises before us out of the text. As a true author, Yareah builds a reality out of an abundance of details, aware of the important role played by objects, words, scraps of paper, scenery, weather, smells, tastes and languages that together make up that reality.”