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House on Endless Waters

by Emuna Elon

Family Drama Historical Fiction Modern and Contemporary Fiction Translated Fiction

LoveReading View on House on Endless Waters

A thoughtfully intricate and fascinating novel which tells two stories in a most unusual way. Yoel Blum, grandfather and famous Israeli author, travels to Amsterdam and finds that everything he thought he knew about himself has been turned on its head. Setting forth into the history of his family and the Jewish community within Amsterdam during World War Two, Yoel Blum begins to understand himself and his relationships. This isn't a loud or boisterous tale, yet the clarity is piercing. The detail of the underground networks hiding Jewish children in the Second World War is full of impact. Emuna Elon has the most beautiful way with words, her descriptions took me by the hand and led me into their very midst. There are no speech marks or indications of changing time frames, however I never felt out of place. The translation from Hebrew has been completed with great skill by Anthony Berris and Linda Yechiel. Chosen as a Liz Robinson pick of the month, this is a novel to read slowly, to experience, to become a part of. House on Endless Waters is a beautifully eloquent family mystery highlighting human tragedy and resilience. 

Liz Robinson

House on Endless Waters Synopsis

Yoel has always known that his mother escaped the Nazis from Amsterdam. But it is not until after she has died that he finally visits the city of his birth. There, watching an old film clip at the Jewish Historical Museum, he sees a woman with a small child: it is his mother, but the child is not him. So begins a fervent search for the truth that becomes the subject of his magnum opus, revealing Amsterdam's dark wartime history and the underground networks which hid Jewish children away from danger - but at a cost.

House on Endless Waters Press Reviews

HOUSE ON ENDLESS WATERS is part mystery, part historical fiction, and entirely captivating. - Off the Shelf

A beautifully eloquent family mystery highlighting human tragedy and resilience. - LoveReading

Emuna Elon's powerful House on Endless Waters is essential Jewish fictionElon's great power in The House on Endless Waters is to richly evoke both sides of the tragedy . . . House on Endless Waters is a deeply immersive achievement that brings to life stories that must never be forgotten. -- Emily Gray Tedrowe - USA Today

Readers will find Elon's lyrical prose haunting as she moves between past and present, constructing a heartbreaking, moving tale that brings understanding and acceptance. -- Barbara Bibel - Booklist

A story of love, loss, and yearning...Lyrically phrased and often powerfully visual...this deeply felt tale offers a rewarding meditation on survival...Blurring the edges between history and fiction, this achingly mournful work impresses with its grave empathy. - Kirkus (Starred review)

Done with a craftswoman's hand ...The seam between the mythological and the personal is sewn with a fine, silken, concealed narrative thread whose beauty lies in its delicacy, and it creates a sense of true catharsis in the reader's breast. - Haaretz

In order to correctly appreciate the impressive work that Elon has produced, the book should be read more than once. The first reading - and the book is read with bated breath - will reveal the strength of the story, but in order to bare it fully, it should be examined like a complex work of art, from several aspects. This is a book that contains many meanings: the historical, the poetic, the artistic, the religious, the family-related and the existential; each reading will disclose new layers and secrets ... A masterpiece. Not only because of the descriptive power of the novel, and the precise, finely constructed plot; not only because of its vivid characters whose broken hearts tear at the hearts of the reader; not only because the historical past in it lives on into the present, but because all of these depict how the history that is read in books is a fragment of the broken heart of a human being in his or her everyday life. - Makor Rishon

House on Endless Waters is extraordinary-a vibrant, page-turning family mystery that not only carries us deep into Amsterdam's little-explored wartime history, but into the fascinating, complex and often painful process by which history is crafted into story. -- Jennifer Cody Epstein, internationally bestselling author of WUNDERLAND and THE PAINTER OF SHANGHAI

[A] jewel box of a novel . . . Elon powerfully evokes the obscurity of the past and its hold on the present, as we stumble through revelation after revelation with Yoel. As we accompany him on his journey to recreate his history, we share in his loss, surprise and grief, right up to the novel's shocking conclusion. - New York Times

In House on Endless Waters, Emuna Elon envelops her readers in an intricately woven and lushly layered world. With achingly exquisite, delicate prose, Elon explores the creative mind's power to reimagine a life and memory's power to recognize truth. An unforgettable read. -- Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of THE TWO-FAMILY HOUSE and THE WARTIME SISTERS

House on Endless Waters is a haunting and lyrical meditation on who we are and where we come from, on how our past shapes our present and our art. Emuna Elon's gorgeously intricate novel is beautifully written and moving. -- Jillian Cantor, bestselling author of THE LOST LETTER and IN ANOTHER TIME

Emuna Elon has given us an elegant, eloquent novel - a story in which time and language melt to reveal truths that could be told in no other way. House on Endless Waters is at once an Escher print of a tale and devastatingly, inescapably real. -- Rachel Kadish, bestselling author of THE WEIGHT OF INK

It is sensitive and beautifully written, its reality utterly convincing. I loved it. -- Alex Miller

I read this book in excitement and wonder. It's not only a touching and fascinating book, but a sophisticated one as well. -- Amos Oz, author of A TALE OF LOVE AND DARKNESS -

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781911630586
Publication date: 07/01/2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin an imprint of Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781911630579
Publication date: 05/03/2020
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781911630586
Publication date: 7th January 2021
Author: Emuna Elon
Publisher: Allen & Unwin an imprint of Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Genres: Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Translated Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Historical fiction, Fiction in translation,

About Emuna Elon

Emuna Elon is an internationally bestselling Israeli novelist, journalist, teacher and women's activist, who currently lives in Jerusalem. Her first novel translated into English, If You Awaken Love, was a National Jewish Book Award finalist and House on Endless Waters has been optioned for TV/film adaptation. This novel was translated from its original Hebrew by the late Anthony Berris (1934-2018) and Linda Yechiel, a Canadian-born editor and translator based in Israel.

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