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The Lost Family: A Novel
 
 

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The Lost Family: A Novel
By: Jenna Blum
List Price: $27.99
Your Price: $15.96
(as of: 07/23/18)
Manufacturer: Harper
ISBN: 0062742167
Publication Date: 2018-06-05
Release Date 2018-06-05
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Product Description:

 "The Lost Family is an extraordinary read, the kind of book that makes you sob and smile, the kind that gives you hope…. It is compassionate, masterful and disturbingly contemporary."—Tatiana de Rosnay, bestselling author of Sarah’s Key

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.

Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

 



Peter Rashkin has known heartbreak and great suffering from an early age; as a young man he lost his family to the Holocaust, then survived two death camps and moved to America to live with cousins and start anew. Peter becomes a chef, then owner of a beloved restaurant into which he pours his heart and soul – until he meets June Bouquet, the Twiggy-like model who captures his broken heart and attempts to make it whole again.

As time goes by, Peter and June have a daughter, Elsbeth. Peter never speaks of the wife and young daughters he lost in Europe, but Elsbeth learns of them anyhow. Her life is shadowed by her unknown half-sisters, but neither of her parents ever address her questions. Life goes on in a series of day after days for each of them: Peter with a new restaurant, June with her desire for something fresh and new, and Elsbeth, who doesn’t know what she longs for, until a series of misguided choices land her in an untenable position that will push their little family to the brink of shattering.

The Lost Family is a dark, swirling novel that threatens to drown readers in despair while a glimmer of hope extends a life-saving hand now and again. Each of the characters is indeed “lost” in some way, whether it’s the Vietnam vet whose PTSD shatters the chance of a new beginning, or any of the Rashkin family members, each with their own burdensome “baggage” that tugs and drags on them with little relief. The story is brutally honest but also captivating, as Blum’s characterizations and imagery evoke incredible sentiment and empathy without even seeming to try. The Lost Family is hard to put down; far from light summer beach reading, this story will stay with you long after the last page is turned.

 
By: Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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