The Takeaway Men by Meryl Ain
Category: Adult fiction 18 yrs +, 264 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction | Publisher: Sparkpress
Release date: August 4, 2020 | Tour dates: July 14 to Aug 10, 2020
Content Rating: PG-13 + M because there are references to extra-marital affairs. There is no explicit sex in the book.
With the cloud of the Holocaust still looming over them, twin sisters Bronka and Johanna Lubinski and their parents arrive in the US from a Displaced Persons Camp. In the years after World War II, they experience the difficulties of adjusting to American culture as well as the burgeoning fear of the Cold War. Years later, the discovery of a former Nazi hiding in their community brings the Holocaust out of the shadows. As the girls get older, they start to wonder about their parents’ pasts, and they begin to demand answers. But it soon becomes clear that those memories will be more difficult and painful to uncover than they could have anticipated. Poignant and haunting, The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, secrets, and lies on parents and children in mid-twentieth-century America.
Now Available for Pre-order! Release date: August 4, 2020
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REVIEW by LAWonder10:
Although 'The Takeaway Men' is fiction, much of the events and circumstances are factual.
This is a story of a Jew and A Gentile and the horrific nightmare of circumstances they endured in Poland during World War ll and in the aftermath.
Needing to escape the memories and ongoing hostilities, they were able to Immigrate to America. There the Jewish man, Aron, had a cousin who took them in and gave them a home, a job, and a new family. Just before beginning their new life, the Gentile, Edyta, gave birth - a month early - to twin girls. Before arriving in America, Edyta and the girls needed to change their names to Jewish/American names.
While living at their new residence in America, the Twins grow and develop friendships with both Jewish and Gentile Friends, but were raised strictly Jewish by their parents. The story, also, relates experiences of some of the newfound friends and neighbors.
As with all things in life, the story tells of various degrees of strictness in living one's religious beliefs, of various degrees of prejudice, and of various degrees of self one chooses to allow others to see. I found it "true to form" how different each individual responds to situations and others, even within a family unit.
It is harrowing, to me, how inhumane and cruel individuals can be to others simply because of differences in beliefs, race, religion, social class, skin color and other physical differences... Still, at the same time, claim to be Christian, God-like, or just a "decent" human being, while their actions shout-out otherwise!
It is important to be reminded of the past, in hope of preventing a repeated perspicacity. Love, Peace, Acceptance and Freedom from Unjust Condemnation needs to become a priority before true happiness can be achieved.
Th book was very interesting and well-written.
it did lack a bit of clarity n a few places as to who was talking, and the ending needed to be slightly stronger.
I offer Four Stars rating for this story.
*This was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. I worked for a weekly newspaper when my children were young and I wrote everything from breaking news to a cooking column. Later, I wrote monthly columns about parenting. I’ve blogged for Huffington Post and other outlets and I’ve had opinion pieces published in various newspapers. I also wrote two non-fiction books, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last in 2014 and its companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal in 2016. These were about keeping the memories of loved ones alive after they had passed away. I wrote those books to heal myself after losing both my parents in a short time, and I wanted to help others overcome their losses.
So, when people heard I was having a new book published, everyone was surprised to learn that my debut novel, The Takeaway Men, was historical fiction. Why did I switch after so many years of saying what I wanted to say through non-fiction? Isn’t non-fiction the most straightforward way to get your point across?
My novel is about what happened to the survivors of the Holocaust when they tried to start new lives in America after World War II. It’s about the impact their trauma had on their children. It’s about how we treat immigrants and those who are different. It’s about religious identity and whether we inherit it or choose it. It’s about faith and hope and the question of how some people keep their faith while undergoing terrible tragedy. It’s about parenting and when is it okay for parents to protect their children by lying to them? It’s about what our responsibility is to one another when other human beings are being hurt, persecuted or bullied. It’s about the importance of family.
So, why did I think historical fiction was a better way to raise these issues than a non-fiction book? In fiction, the author can draw colorful characters, ones who are flawed, but human. Their thoughts, words and actions, tell the story. And it can be read on many levels. Some readers will just enjoy the story. While others will actually ask and see more than even the author intended.
While there are many Holocaust novels on the market – including many bestsellers – few write about the time after – the post-Holocaust era. What happened to the survivors? How did they fare once they came to the United States? What, if any impact, did their trauma and suffering have on their children? Did they speak about it or remain mum? Did survivors have guilt? How were rescuers treated? What happened to former Nazis who hid in America in the 1950’s?
There are many different answers to these questions. And there are no simple ones. It is a complicated story. I wrote a novel because I thought this subject was much better suited to an open-ended genre, where the reader could see the issues through the characters, ask her own questions, and form her own conclusions.
Meet the Author:
Meryl Ain’s articles and essays have appeared in Huffington Post, The New York Jewish Week, The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. The Takeaway Men is her debut novel. In 2014, she co-authored the award-winning book, The Living Memories Project: Legacies That Last, and in 2016, wrote a companion workbook, My Living Memories Project Journal.
She is a sought-after speaker and has been interviewed on television, radio, and podcasts. She is a career educator and is proud to be both a teacher and student of history. She has also worked as a school administrator.
The Takeaway Men is the result of her life-long quest to learn more about the Holocaust, a thirst that was first triggered by reading The Diary of Anne Frank in the sixth grade. While teaching high school history, she introduced her students to the study of the Holocaust. At the same time, she also developed an enduring fascination with teaching about and researching the Julius and Ethel Rosenberg case. An interview with Robert Meeropol, the younger son of the Rosenbergs, is featured in her book, The Living Memories Project. The book also includes an interview with Holocaust survivor, Boris Chartan, the founder of the Holocaust Museum and Tolerance Center of Nassau County, New York.
Meryl holds a BA from Queens College, an MA from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an Ed.D. from Hofstra University. She lives in New York with her husband, Stewart. They have three married sons and six grandchildren.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~Instagram
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