A Day of Small Beginnings

A Day of Small Beginnings

A Novel

Book - 2006
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Poland, 1906: on a cold spring night, in the small Jewish cemetery of Zokof, Friedl Alterman is wakened from death. On the ground above her crouches Itzik Leiber, a reclusive, unbelieving fourteen-year-old whose fatal mistake has spurred the town's angry residents to violence. The childless Friedl rises to guide him to safety - only to find she cannot go back to her grave. Now Friedl is trapped in that thin world between life and death, her brash decision binding her forever to Itzik and his family: she is fated to be forever restless, and he, forever haunted by the ghosts of his past. "Years later, after Itzik himself has gone to his grave, his son, Nathan, knows nothing of his bitter father's childhood. When he begrudgingly goes to Poland on business, Nathan decides on a whim to visit his ancestral town. There, in Zokof, he meets the mysterious Rafael, the town's last remaining Jew, who promises to pass on all the things Itzik had failed to teach his son - about Zokof, about his faith, and about himself." "And yet, like the generation before him, Nathan keeps what he learns hidden inside himself. With the family legacy in danger of being lost, Friedl's restless spirit guides Itzik's precocious granddaughter, Ellen, on a journey of her own to Zokof, where only Friedl can help Ellen unlock the mysteries of her family's past - and only Ellen can help Friedl break her agonizing enslavement."--BOOK JACKET.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316014519
0316014516
Branch Call Number: FICTION Rosenbau Lisa 2006
Characteristics: 372 p. ;,25 cm.

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GLNovak
Nov 17, 2012

I quite enjoyed this book even though I had to renew it twice before I could finish it. There is only a little plot and a lot of thought in it. Itzak, Ellen's grandfather, fled from his small Polish village under threat of death and emigrated to America where he revealed little of his past life. His son and granddaughter were not raised in the Jewish faith and knew nothing of their heritage until each of them had to go to Poland for business and were confronted with their family past. This was a good read about a journey of discovery and how heritage can fit with modern life.

SuzieQ1 Aug 19, 2011

Just awesome.

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