Saturday, October 1, 2011
Far to Go ~ Book Review
Alison Pick wrote an absolutely beautiful novel in Far to Go. It's exceptionally touching, powerful, strong and raw.
Set in Czechoslovakia in the home of a Jewish family struggling to make way under Hitler's early regime, we watch as the nanny, Marta, takes care of a young boy named Pepik while his mother, Anneleise, seems to care little, except when under a watchful eye. We watch the father, Pavel, and his efforts to protect his family, most especially the young son.
Marta is our primary character. At first we start off with a story that is told from her perspective, and it seems to be that way for the most part. We learn more as we get into the details, and we get more characters as we move on through the pages. Marta is so torn between loving and protecting the family she has come to look at as her own, and the changes happening in the world around her. She is inspired and motivated by her love for the young lad under her supervision, and his father, and even, to some extent, the love she has for Anneleise, with whom she shares a history and protects secrets for. Yet she also finds herself pushed to various points when considering and remembering that these people, this family she holds so dear, are Jews.
Jews deserve disrespect. Jews deserve betrayal. Jews deserve pretty much anything negative that can be lashed upon them in this story. And although this is a fictional novel, it breaks your heart because the portrayal of the way Jews were treated is accurate ... so true.
As someone of Jewish ancestry, I ache a little bit each time I read a book about this time. This time in our world when Jews were persecuted merely for being Jews. My heart breaks. I think back to my grandfather, one I never got the chance to meet, and his first family, the one he lost in the war. It makes me so sad, and I hope that generations to come never forget the history and tragedy that occurred.
I think that this book was a beautifully written one, and there are many pleasantly woven surprises that occur throughout. They don't spring out at you, but take you through the appropriate path to get to the points of reveal. Points at which they are most relevant. Take some time and read Far to Go. Be prepared to be emotional, angry, agitated and more. But feel love while you read it just the same. Take your time and enjoy every word. You won't be sorry you did.
** I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours for review, but all opinions expressed are truly my own. There are affiliate links scattered throughout this post.**