by David Gelernter
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Pub Date 23 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 15 Nov 2023
In 1843, amidst the squalor of a small shtetl in Russian-occupied Poland, a baby cries his first breath while his mother draws her last. Thus begins the extraordinary tale of Leizar Domansky, whose life and lineage span a century, witnessing seismic shifts in history and humanity.
From the pogrom-shadowed villages of Eastern Europe in the 19th century to post-WW2 suburban London, Leizar's journey is one of tenacity and resilience. An advocate for democracy, this writer confronts the darkest forms of persecution—pogroms, prison, and rampant antisemitism—alongside the harrowing challenges of two world wars. Facing Cossack cruelty, a violated wedding in Poland, rigged trials, and punishing captivity, Leizar's story is emblematic of the struggles of an entire people.
But amid the chaos and devastation, his heart beats with love and hope. Alongside his steadfast wife, Chaya, Leizar carves moments of tenderness and connection, building a family legacy that withstands the test of time and turmoil.
Dive into this evocative five-generation saga that captures the essence of survival, love, and the indomitable spirit of a family.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 10 members
The amazing and heart rending story of a Jewish family through the generations from the 1800s to the end of WWII
Leizar by David Gelernter
I enjoyed reading this book very much, at times this story felt so similar to the movie Fiddler on the Roof, one of my favourite movies.
The book starts in Poland in 1843 in a small village or shtetl called in Kawetchka where Leizar’s father Zelman Domansky is born. The book goes on to tell us about the Domansky family from 1843 to 1947 from their lives in the small village to Warsaw, Glasgow, Berlin, London and Wales.
This is truly an unforgettable story of all four generations of the Domansky family. I know they are not a real family but after reading this book I feel like I have been welcomed in to their fold and I have been a part of them. I was sorry when the book ended and I could not find out what other adventures they had in store
I would like to thank Net Galley and Book Whisperer for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Walking a mile in someone else's shoes can give perspective of their life. Author David Gelertner certainly helps the compassionate reader gain that perspective of the Jewish plight through the eyes and life of Leizar and the Domansky family who suffered so much at the hands of the Cossacks and others through the ages.
Although this is historical fiction it all seems very plausible and reads like a biography. Because of this I found some of the story hard to read but realized it must have been so much more heartbreaking and devastating for those in real life who had to live through and suffer it all. I think it crucial for serious empatheticc people to read this work. I admit there were points in which some detail was too draggy for me so I did skip over some portions but otherwise pressed on to the end of the story.
~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~
Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.
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