Saturday, 22 February 2020

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman


"If you are loved, you never lose the person who loved you. You carry them with you all your life. They were with her as she ran." 
Alice Hoffman, The World That We Knew


The World That We Knew is the latest release from Alice Hoffman. Inspired by an encounter with a woman she met at a library reading years ago, The World That We Knew tells the story of the efforts of a mother to save her child during World War II. In 1941 Berlin, Hanni Kohn begs Ettie, a Rabbi's daughter, to use ancient magic and create a golem to protect her only daughter, Lea, on the dangerous journey out of Germany. The golem, a mythical creature from Jewish history created from mud and water, is named Ava and is tasked with protecting Lea at all costs. Ettie, Lea, and Ava then become linked forever in this story of courage and love.

Hoffman's writing is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I found the overlay of magical realism and historical fiction compelling. A delicate balance is required to craft a story of how magic saved people from a very real horror that existed in our history, and The World That We Knew walks this line with grace. This novel of a mother's devotion and the will to live and love when darkness surrounds you will interest anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

xo
Jenn

Disclaimer - I received a complementary copy of this novel from Simon & Schuster Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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