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This moving, thoughtful, and expressive historical novel walked into my heart with deep empathy, and more than a hint of fantasy. Set during the Second World War, between 1941 and 1944, The World We Knew explores the nature of war, anti-Semitism, and what people can become when faced with the hardest of choices. When Hanni Kohn approaches her rabbi to help save her 12 year old daughter from the Nazi regime, assistance comes from the least likely of places. The first chapter, stark, urgent, and compelling was so intense I almost stopped breathing. As the chapter came to a close I sat for a moment in contemplative silence. I simply adored how Alice Hoffman balances the fantasy element of the novel, it feels as though a truth has been sent free. I disappeared into the words, and took to my heart that survival isn’t just a matter of life or death. One word of advice, you may need to have tissues close to hand, I cried at the beauty of the ending. The World That We Knew is not only one of my picks of the month, it has also been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.
`Oh, what a book this is! Hoffman's exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us - it is a glorious experience. The book builds and builds, as she weaves together, seamlessly, the stories of people in the most desperate of circumstances - and then it delivers with a tremendous punch. It opens up the world ... in a way that is absolutely unique. By the end you may be weeping' Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge In Berlin in 1941 during humanity's darkest hour, three unforgettable young women must act with courage and love to survive, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Marriage of Opposites Alice Hoffman. In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it's his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked. Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she's destined to be. What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending. Praise for Alice Hoffman: 'A major contribution to twenty-first century literature' Toni Morrisonon The Museum of Extraordinary Things `A great atmospheric storyteller... Her books are a real pleasure' Kate Atkinson 'Hoffman reminds us with every sentence that words have the power to transport us to alternate worlds, to heal a broken heart, and to tie us irrevocably to the people we love' Jodi Picoult 'Miss Hoffman heals wounds with the gentle touch of an angel' Joseph Heller `Hoffman... writes with heartbreaking clarity' The Times `Alice Hoffman is simply brilliant' Daily Mail 'Hoffman knows how to tell a good story' Sunday Times 'Monumental... magical, moving... beautifully written... A genuine masterpiece' Daily Mail on The Dovekeepers 'One of the finest writers of her generation' Newsweek
Publication date: 17/10/2019
Publisher: Scribner UK an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
|Publication date:||17th October 2019|
|Publisher:||Scribner UK an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd|
|Genres:||Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Relationship Stories, Star Books,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Alice Hoffman is the bestselling author of eighteen acclaimed novels, including The Ice Queen, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, The River King, Blue Diary, Illumination Night, Turtle Moon, Seventh Heaven, and At Risk. She lives in Massachusetts. Photograph © Deborah FeingoldMore About Alice Hoffman