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April Grunspan

Teoksen The Coat tekijä

1 Work 11 jäsentä 4 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

The Coat (2020) 11 kappaletta

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Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

The Coat is a book about the legacy of the holocaust, focusing on the war and post-war story and how it reflects on the third generation of holocaust survivors. The centrepiece of the novel is the leather coat that the main character receives from his grandparents on the day of his bar mitzvah. It's been in the family since ww2, but we don't know the story of how it ended up in the family.
Instead, we are given pieces of a mosaic, vignettes from the past that include a possible way the coat made its way into the life of the protagonist's grandparents.
That is an interesting narrative approach, even though I found it confusing before I figured out that that's not the one and the same coat and that it will keep appearing for the first time in each vignette.

I've read literally dozens of books on the holocaust, many of which have touched me in a way more profound than this book. The approaches in those books were different. From [b:Fatelessness|318335|Fatelessness|Imre Kertész|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1348898439l/318335._SY75_.jpg|309125] to [b:The World That We Knew|43822062|The World That We Knew|Alice Hoffman|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1567346309l/43822062._SY75_.jpg|68193271] there is a world of possibilities how to treat this topic. Regardless of the literary treatment of the topic, it is impossible to read any book about the holocaust and not feel anything. But, I felt something lacking with this book. I didn't like Seth. He was a walking cliche.

Predictably, the coat is just a symbol, and by the end of the novel Seth will come to terms with his own role in keeping the Jewish identity, as an atheist Jew.
I guess the audience of this novel is the third/fourth generation of the holocaust survivors who feel disconnected from their family's past. It reads like simple YA literature. The novel is loaded with Yiddish/Hebrew terms and references.

My biggest criticism of this book is that it feels very one-sided. It talks a lot about Israel, but it never mentions anything about the Arab Palestinians who had lived there before the Jewish refugees started arriving in post-war Israel. Even in the "modern era" part of the novel, there is only one episode with a shawarma shop that put out the caricature of Netanyahu and Seth swore never to enter there again. But even then the author managed to avoid mentioning Palestinians and focused only and exclusively on the Jewish side of the story.

The Poles are also pretty demonized, even though Seth's father survived thanks to a Polish man who hid him in the basement. Seth's girlfriend is Polish, too and at one point he even attacked her for not knowing whether her ancestors were Nazi collaborators. While there were some collaborators during the war in every country, Polish people were also considered Untermensch, many were killed, many risking their lives as a part of Żegota.

I understand that this story focuses on Jewish history and identity. Still, I feel very strongly that while we keep telling only one side of the story and ignore the others, while we keep focusing on the legacy and identity instead of humanity and hope, things are never going to improve.
In that sense, this book holds little value, hence the 2 stars from me.
… (lisätietoja)
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ZeljanaMaricFerli | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 4, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
I really enjoyed "The Coat" so many choices on how the coat came to be in the possession of this family. The Holocaust itself is a subject that always brings me to tears although this great read did not. I cannot say more than this because I found this author giving me a lot to think about by the ending, and that would be to reveal it which shouldn't be done. Since I read anything I can get my hands on about this mournful period in history, I will say that it is now a favorite. More stories on the subject should be done so that we can say NEVER AGAIN and it will be so. Thank you Library Thing and April Grunspan for gifting me with your great work.… (lisätietoja)
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MaggieFP | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 16, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Member Giveaways.
In "The Coat" April Grunspan spins a tale or rather several tales; about a young who gets a very unusual inherietance from his father, a Holocaust survivor; a Nazi officer's coat. The tales twist through Europe, Israel and America. All the stories circle around a man accepting his family's past and working on his future.
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FCClibraryoshkosh | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Feb 7, 2023 |
Tämä arvostelu kirjoitettiin LibraryThingin Varhaisia arvostelijoita varten.
A very unique frame story about the Holocaust, but it felt awfully didactic at times.
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bookwyrmm | 3 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 19, 2021 |


Arvio (tähdet)
½ 3.5