When We Return

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Pub Date 17 May 2022 | Archive Date 29 Jul 2022
Greenleaf Book Group, River Grove Books

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Description

Who should be held responsible for public wrongs?

By 2008, it finally seems that the Peruvian government is ready to make amends to its citizens following the violent guerilla movement of the last three decades.

Otilia and Salvador, a mother and son torn apart during the conflict and separated for twenty years, are eager for the government to acknowledge their pain and suffering, but they hit a roadblock when the government denies responsibility in their legal case.

Things begin to look up when Otilia meets Jerry, a kind man and the son of Jewish parents who escaped the Holocaust. Grappling with his own upbringing and the psychological struggles his parents endured, Jerry is just the person to empathize with Otilia's situation. Together, Otilia, Jerry, and Salvador must support one another through the turbulent journey that is healing from historical trauma, and through it, they must find the courage to rebuild their lives and open themselves up to love and companionship.

Artfully weaving together different timelines and countries, Tobias examines the nuanced topic of grief a community endures after a collective tragedy. In this exploration of the culture of remembrance following displacement and loss, we discover what happens when our past calls us back to what we must do to achieve justice and reconciliation when we return. 

Who should be held responsible for public wrongs?

By 2008, it finally seems that the Peruvian government is ready to make amends to its citizens following the violent guerilla movement of the...


Advance Praise

“Eliana Tobias has managed in this moving and intelligent novel to show us two characters who, coming from very different worlds, at the end are telling the same story. The story of disarray, discrimination, and injustice. Showing us as well that hate is everywhere and the only antidote we have, is memory and love.”

—Carla Guelfenbein, internationally recognized author of eight novels including the award-winning novel In the Distance With You

“A spellbinding narrative that spans two continents Europe and Latin America at pivotal times of history. We are drawn to the life of its characters those that escaped the fractured world of the Holocaust and those in Latin America who struggled for truth and justice. Eliana Tobias has written a mesmerizing novel where history is braided with humanity. A passionate tale of resilience and fortitude.”

—Marjorie Agosin, Wellesley College, award-winning poet and novelist, author of The Butterfly Hill Series

“A story about reparations and redemption, When We Return weaves decades and continents, victims of the Holocaust and those reeling from terrorism in Peru, with the struggles of loss and injustice. Tobias explores with insight and compassion the familial bonds that sustain us, to ultimately reveal the healing that comes from family, love, and our shared humanity.”

—Claire Ibarra, author of Fragile Saints and Vortex of Our Affections

“In a novel with as many victims as there are survivors, Eliana depicts the phenomenal resilience of love that can bridge displaced families across borders and beyond lost time. A thoughtful writer, giving readers history and fiction in equal servings, her words are prime and elegant, adding richness to a beautiful retelling of an ugly past.” —Mari Jojie, author of A Hundred Silent Ways

“In this thought-provoking novel, the author traces generational history for those who are recipients of life-shattering events. Tobias seeks and provides answers to questions of the rights of recipients of outrageous historical behavior and to what forms such reparations may take. Personalizing such problems the novel gives a historical background from the Peruvian Shining Path guerilla movement to the European Holocaust and shows through keen characterization how the sharp light of history reflecting national crimes impact both the recipients and future generations. Can new relationships provide solace to those long ago destroyed? A must-read for philosophical and historical students and deep thinkers, everywhere. A highly original and different type of novel.”

—Suzanne Hillier, author of My Best Friend Was Angela Bennett and Sonia and Carl

“As a Jewish Latina familiar with South and North America, Tobias provides penetrating and perceptive observations on the all too human issues caused by displacement and generational trauma. Weaving a tapestry of trauma as experienced by a Peruvian victimized by the Shining Path guerillas and an American affected by his father's preoccupations as a Jewish Czech refugee, the author provides a unique window into life and political events. Equally compelling is the struggle of the affected individuals to confront memory and seek justice, each of which proves to be an enormous challenge. After all, the perpetrators rely on the erosion of memory and the avoidance of justice. This story may help inspire those who know that silence is not the answer.”

—Robert Krell CM, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, author of Sounds from Silence

“Eliana Tobias renders this powerful tale of a Peruvian family trying to come together after the murderous corruption of the Fujimori years unfolds with the inevitable grace of a tropical flower blooming.”

—Eduardo Santiago, award-winning author of Tomorrow They Will Kiss and Midnight Rumba

“Eliana Tobias has managed in this moving and intelligent novel to show us two characters who, coming from very different worlds, at the end are telling the same story. The story of disarray...


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Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781632995346
PRICE $16.95 (USD)

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