A moving portrait of two Holocaust survivors when they are already old and the trauma is seemingly behind them. In fact, it lives on with them. We are also privy to the stories of the second generation, who carry both their parents` experiences and their own difficulties. We thus have the confessions of four characters from two generations. The memories of Shmuel and Laura, a retired doctor and nurse, are triggered by their move to a retirement home. Laura, who has Alzheimer`s, goes back and forth between reality and "then," awaiting her sister who never returned from the war. Shmuel, who almost lost his life many times during the Holocaust and after, is fighting for both his soul and his wife`s.
The second generation includes Elhanan (supposedly their
son, actually born to Laura`s sister and her husband) and his wife Daniella, the daughter of a man Laura loved as a girl. Within this situation, love becomes a force for healing, between parents and children, man and woman, children and their aging parents. Because if you want to live, "you have to love."
This novel has unique significance, expanding its circles beyond the Holocaust to its reflections in contemporary Israeli society.
Golan`s great achievement here is the creation of a meta-character who should be called the Remembering Jew. He describes the characters with moving clarity.
Golan has written a heartrending story. This is an important book for our generation and generations to come. Fascinating and very humane.
Author Nurit Govrin