Saturday, November 7, 2015

Staff Pick - The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn

I am someone who absolutely loves doing genealogical research. I have dedicated entire days to searching through family history websites and databases. To me, this is time well spent. This is probably one of the reasons why I enjoyed Daniel Mendelsohn’s, The Lost: a search for six of six million so much.  Mendelsohn shares his own journey to uncover his family’s history and it’s truly an incredible story, spanning many years.

Growing up, the author was often told by his elderly relatives that he looked just like his Grandfather’s oldest brother, Shmiel.  Whenever he asked about this great uncle of his, all he was told was that Shmiel had been killed by the Nazis.  It is only much later in life that Mendelsohn began to look into who exactly this Great Uncle Shmiel was.  Talking to relatives and looking through his grandfather’s papers, he realized that during WWII, Shmiel, his wife Ester, and their four daughters disappeared and his family never found out what happened to them. At just over 500 pages, this story is not a short one.  As a reader, I found myself quickly wrapped up in the mystery as the author travels to numerous countries and continents over many years, interviewing different members of his family.  There were a number of times when discoveries were made and I found myself covered in goose bumps.  It is a story with twists and turns, heartbreak and disappointment, but Mendelsohn has written the story beautifully and keeps readers on the edge of their seat.

Paper Love by Sarah Wildman
The Pages in Between by Erin Einhorn
The Zookeeper's Wife: a war story by Diane Ackerman

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