This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 23 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 15 Nov 2023

Talking about this book? Use #Leizar #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


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.

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...

Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781399912051
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 10 members

Featured Reviews

The amazing and heart rending story of a Jewish family through the generations from the 1800s to the end of WWII

Was this review helpful?

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.

Was this review helpful?

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~

October 2023

Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: