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The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million
The Lost A Search for Six of Six Million Author:Daniel Mendelsohn In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic-part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work-that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history. The Lost begins as the story of ... more »a boy who grew up in a family haunted by the disappearance of six relatives during the Holocaust-an unmentionable subject that gripped his imagination from earliest childhood. Decades later, spurred by the discovery of a cache of desperate letters written to his grandfather in 1939 and tantalized by fragmentary tales of a terrible betrayal, Daniel Mendelsohn sets out to find the remaining eyewitnesses to his relatives' fates. That quest eventually takes him to a dozen countries on four continents, and forces him to confront the wrenching discrepancies between the histories we live and the stories we tell. And it leads him, finally, back to the small Ukrainian town where his family's story began, and where the solution to a decades-old mystery awaits him. Deftly moving between past and present, interweaving a world-wandering odyssey with childhood memories of a now-lost generation of immigrant Jews and provocative ruminations on biblical texts and Jewish history, The Lost transforms the story of one family into a profound, morally searching meditation on our fragile hold on the past. Deeply personal, grippingly suspenseful, and beautifully written, this literary tour de force illuminates all that is lost, and found, in the passage of time.« less
Sheila M. (Page5) reviewed The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million on
Helpful Score: 6
I really liked this book. I nearly quit reading after 50 pages due the run on sentences and excessive use of punctuation. Some sentences are more than half a page in length and I found them difficult to read. Commas, dashes and parentheses are liberally used. I kept reading though because the premise had caught my interest.
Mendolsohn wrote the book after searching for his relatives killed during the holocaust. Because all of his family that stayed in Poland during WW2 were killed, he interviews other survivors from the same town, Bolechow. His search is to learn how and when they were killed and to learn something about their lives. All of the survivors he meets have their own memories and story to tell. You can tell how emotionally involved the author became during the search for his relatives. I would have preferred some editing :-)
This is an incredible book. It is a memoir of the author's search to find out what happened to his great-uncle's family during the Holocaust - all the family knew was that they had been 'killed by the Nazis'. At the start of the book you are skeptical, frankly, that anything can be found out about just six of six million. And then little discovery by little discovery, the author draws you in until you almost feel like you are on the search with him. This book is a master class in how to do your family history research properly! That aside, it is also a beautifully written and incredibly moving story of a family and how family ties and tensions affect us all.
A truly brilliant and remarkable book. I read most books in 2-4 days, tops. But this book took me more than a week to finish, because I kept having to take breaks - literally. The writing is vivid, descriptive and engrossing; parts of the tale will bring you to tears; the story is vast and epic in nature. Mendelsohn embarks on a years-long search for his Great Uncle's family, which disappeared from their tiny Ukraine village during World War II and were killed (although no one knew exactly how, or when) during the Holocaust. Mendelsohn's journey takes him across the Atlantic and through most of northern and eastern Europe, Australia and Israel. He recounts the memories of many Jewish families who were trapped in Ukraine and Poland during the Holocaust, and some who managed to flee with their lives. The story of what actually happened to these six individuals - Mendelsohn's great-uncle, great-aunt, and their four daughters, will stay with you for a long time after you finally reach the end of the book. Six of six million... but a story richly, and heartbreakingly, told so that the rest of us will never forget.
I really can't say enough about this book. Mr. Mendelsohn takes us on a very intricate and difficult journey, both physically and emotionally, into the past of his family's holocaust experience. Far from tedious, even the smallest detail becomes as important to the reader as it did to the Mendelsohn family. This is a book everyone should read.