The World to Come Author:Dara Horn A million-dollar painting by Marc Chagall is stolen from a museum. The unlikely thief is Benjamin Ziskind, a thirty-year-old quiz-show writer. As Benjamin and his twin sister try to evade the police, they find themselves recalling their dead parents -- the father who lost a leg in Vietnam, the mother who created children's books -- and their... more » stories about trust, loss, and betrayal.
What is true, what is fake, what does it mean? Eighty years before the theft, these questions haunted Chagall and the enigmatic Yiddish fabulist Der Nister ("The Hidden One"), teachers at a school for Jewish orphans. Both the painting and the questions will travel through time to shape the Ziskinds' futures.
With astonishing grace and simplicity, Dara Horn interweaves a real art heist, history, biography, theology, and Yiddish literature. Richly satisfying, utterly unique, her novel opens the door to "the world to come" -- not life after death, but the world we create through our actions right now. Reading group guide included.« less
Dara Horn is a great writer, and I loved much of this book. Unfortunately, the final chapter simply didn't work for me and seemed rather tacked onto the book, which is why I gave it three stars only. Someone else may be mesmerized by the ending, though.
This work of fiction dabbles in jewish & russian history of the 1940-60. It weaves many strands of stories of related family members in a creative way, but needs close reading to keep them straight. A central event is the theft of a Chagall painting and how that art work is part of the history of this family. Author uses language very resourcefully.