Wednesday, September 8, 2021

New Release! The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman ~ My Thoughts #TheLivingAndTheLost #NetGalley

Congrats Ellen
on the release of
The Living and the Lost!

The Living and the Lost by Ellen Feldman
Jewish American Fiction, 336 pages
Published September 7, 2021 by St. Martin's Griffin

From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future.

Millie Mosbach and her brother David escaped to the United States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, the siblings suffer from rage at Germany and guilt at their own good fortune. Only Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, seems strangely eager to be fair to the Germans.

Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a past decision made in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons. Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of survival, love, and forgiveness, of others and of self.

My thoughts about The Living and the Lost ~~

(I love to note the first lines of the books I'm reading. First lines can really grab a reader's attention and I love seeing where the author takes the reader after their first line.)

First line—"Berlin had never been so quiet. Cars and trucks lay in useless pieces. Even bicycles were scarce."

It seems like I have been reading a lot of books about the war, Germany, Jews, and Berlin recently. Maybe my new favorite genre? I don't know. But I do know that I never tire of the stories that so many talented authors have created. 

The Living and the Lost is a beautifully written, heartwarming story that is centered around two siblings, Millie and David. They are German Jews who escaped to the United States but then go back to Germany after the war to help the people left behind, while also searching for their parents and little sister.  

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this story. It was interesting to learn about the hardships that were endured and the coping mechanisms that people adopted to get through the tough times. Millie and David each had their own secrets and guilt about the past but they also had each other to lean on. 

I highly recommend The Living and the Lost if you are into historical fiction, especially World War 2 history. This is a story that will touch your heart.

I received a copy of The Living and the Lost from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.

About the author

Ellen Feldman, a 2009 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Scottsboro, The Boy Who Loved Anne Frank, and Lucy. She writes both fiction and social history, and has published articles on the history of divorce, plastic surgery, Halloween, the Normandie, and many other topics, as well as numerous book reviews. She has also lectured extensively around the country and in Germany and England, and is a sought-after speaker to reading groups both in person and by telephone.

She grew up in northern New Jersey and attended Bryn Mawr College, from which she holds a B.A. and an M.A. in modern history. After further graduate studies in history at Columbia University, she worked for a New York publishing house.

She lives in New York City and East Hampton, New York, with her husband and Cairn terrier named Lucy. 

Connect with Ellen


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