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The World That We Knew: A Novel Tekijä:…
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The World That We Knew: A Novel (vuoden 2019 painos)

Tekijä: Alice Hoffman (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,0404719,835 (4.24)36
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.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:Amber-Writer
Teoksen nimi:The World That We Knew: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Alice Hoffman (Tekijä)
Info:Simon & Schuster (2019), Edition: First Edition, 384 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto, Aion lukea
Arvio (tähdet):
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The World That We Knew (tekijä: Alice Hoffman)

Viimeisimmät tallentajatyksityinen kirjasto, FatimaElf, SusanWicklund, MiniMarg95, NightMarily, JoeB1934, JFBCore, spelldavid, lindawwilson, dom61uk
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» Katso myös 36 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 47) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
women
  BooksInMirror | Feb 19, 2024 |
As usual, a spellbinding novel filled with heartache and happiness and loss and love. All the bits of reality with that special Hoffman magic. ( )
  Chanicole | Jul 6, 2023 |
I couldn’t get into this book, too much of a fantasy genre. Maybe later
  janismack | Apr 24, 2023 |
2.5

Wow. I'm sure this is a case of "it's not you, it's me" but this book did absolutely nothing for me. I genuinely don't understand why so many people were utterly enamoured with this book.
(don't hate me @Shilo)

To be fair the novel has all the trappings to be loved by many. It's an historical fiction set during WWII which incorporates magical realism. The story follows two young Jewish girls, who flee Germany separately (one with a golem secretly created to protect her) looking for safety in France. In Paris the girl and her golem arrive at a distant cousin's house looking for refuge. There they meet the two adolescent boys of the house. They all - along with others - face loss, horrors, and become part of the resistance each in their own way.

Sounds pretty interesting, right? Sounds like a thrilling, emotional ride, doesn't it? I thought so, too. I was wrong. Here's the deal... I was bored. It started off well with the magical manifestation of a supernatural woman tasked with protecting her charge at all costs. Given that kind of opening, you would think "This is gonna get good" and then... Nothing. This all powerful being spends the novel acting as a servant, learning to cook and bake, and dancing with a bird. That's it. Like what?!

Hoffman peppers the story throughout with real life facts about towns and schools and churches who hid, protected, and aided young Jewish children in escaping the Germans and certain death. But the mentions are like those of a paragraph in a history book... Dry and lifeless. There are example upon example of atrocities committed during that time but nothing that felt moving or intimate more than simply informative.

Though I knew that it couldn't be a fairy tale ending for everyone, I literally didn't have any feeling whatsoever about their circumstances despite knowing that I really should have. Even as I was reading I felt a sense of guilt that none of it was touching me in any emotional way. I just did not care. Not a single sniffle or goosebump or frantic turning of a page. Nada.

I actually like Alice Hoffman a lot as a writer and I didn't HATE this book. I did finish it, after all, but it just didn't work for me. Like I said at the beginning, it could just be me because I'm definitely in the minority here. ( )
  Jess.Stetson | Apr 4, 2023 |
In spring 1941, those Jews still left in Berlin live from hand to mouth, managing each day as best they can. But Hanni Kohn, who recognizes her end is near, determines that her twelve-year-old daughter, Lea, will escape. Hanni visits the household of a famous rabbi, seeking a miracle, but he’s not to be disturbed. It’s his seventeen-year-old daughter, Ettie, who agrees to help, and the task is most unusual and occult: to create a golem, who’ll protect Lea and see her to Paris, where she has distant cousins.

The golem, a centuries-old figure in Jewish mysticism and folklore, is a creature made of dust or clay with a human appearance, no soul or feeling, yet with physical powers craved by a people who live in peril. Sixteenth-century Prague provides a famous example of the legend, which Mitchell James Kaplan borrowed for The Fifth Servant. But you can also link the golem to 1930s superheroes, fighters for freedom, and the rule of law in a world tearing itself apart.

Hoffman, however, has a slightly different game in mind.Aptly named Ava, for this golem can speak to birds, she’s tasked with guiding Lea, Ettie, and her sister, Marta across the border, then to Paris. But Ava's existence is an affront to God, and as such, must not outlast her usefulness. Once the war ends, she must die.

The narrative therefore relies on magical realism, Hoffman’s trademark, a genre I’ve never taken to. Yet The World That We Knew is a beautiful, passionate novel about life and death, love as miracle and sacrifice, and the nature of grief. It’s also a page-turner.

Just as the escape fails to go as planned for all parties involved, reaching Paris offers less shelter than the refugees hoped. After all, the Germans have invaded, and the French police vigorously help them round up Jews for deportation. Further, the cousins want no part of the refugees, though the younger son, Julien, falls for Lea.

Consequently, reversals abide in these pages, and though the increasing cast of characters has more than its fair share of luck, they suffer losses too. The realism has a magical component but also a satisfyingly hard edge.

At times, the expository storytelling style bothers me, in which Hoffman explains the action. I want to be allowed closer, to be shown what’s happening. Similarly, the historical passages that teach the Holocaust in France sit wrong; they read like lectures and occasionally err in surpassing the knowledge people had at the time, particularly the precise destination of the trains full of deportees and what would happen to them once they got there.

Nevertheless, I understand Hoffman’s temptation to impart this information. I grew up conversant with the Holocaust, partly because my parents came of age during the war, an exposure that today’s generations lack. The author apparently wishes to redress that.

Fortunately, around the time the refugees leave Paris, the narrative kicks into a higher gear, and when it does, the storytelling shifts as well, showing more and explaining less. My favorite character is Ava, who comes to appreciate what life is, why humans cling to it, and its advantages and disadvantages. I like her transformation from unfeeling clay to sensibility very much. With evil pervading the world, it takes courage even to see what’s worthwhile, let alone to act accordingly, the problem the human characters face.

But that issue touches Ava too, in her own way, not least in her relationship with a heron, with whom she dances when his migration flight brings him through France. Also, she has a skill that comes in handy: her ability to perceive the black-robed angel of death, Azriel, as he hovers, waiting his chance to inscribe a victim's name, a ledger in his hands. This image will stay with me; I think it comes from folklore.

I’m particular about Holocaust novels and won't touch those in which Jews seem mere historical artifacts, depicted for narrative convenience. I’m pleased to say that The World That We Knew swept me away for its moral evocations, characterizations, and sheer imagination. ( )
  Novelhistorian | Jan 24, 2023 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 47) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
Teoksen kanoninen nimi
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät paikat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Tärkeät tapahtumat
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Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
"Can you tell me the way then, and I will seek you..."
"Yes, you may do that," said he; "but there is no thither.
It lies east of the sun, and west of the moon, and never would you find your way there."

                             "East of the Sun, West of the Moon"
The strangers in your midst shall be to you as the native born, for you know the stranger's heart, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

                                                               Exodus 23:9
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
To my mother, Sherry Hoffman, I will miss you forever.
Ensimmäiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
If you do not believe in evil, you are doomed to live in a world you will never understand.
Sitaatit
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
If you are loved, you never lose the person who loved you. You carry them with you all your life.
Trust no one, make your own future, love with all your heart.
Viimeiset sanat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
(Napsauta nähdäksesi. Varoitus: voi sisältää juonipaljastuksia)
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
Kanoninen DDC/MDS
Kanoninen LCC

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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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.

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