Searching by Rochel Istrin is a beautiful novel that deserves a second life. This gripping tale follows the story of a young mother and that of the family from which she is cruelly torn apart.
Young and feisty Zelda must escape to far-off America when anti-Semitic villagers accuse her of espionage. She must leave behind her two small children, Yosseleh and Ruchka, her violinist husband Leizer – and life as she’s known it.
Dramatic enough right there, but then World War II intervenes and makes it impossible for Zelda’s family to join her in America.
After surviving in the forest with the partisans, Leizer finds himself on a freight train bound for Siberia – alone.
When the war ends, Zelda goes back to Europe, determine to find out what happened to her husband and children.
Will the family ever be whole again? Will Zelda ever be able to rebuild the tattered relationship with the child she left behind so young? Will Zelda and Leizer find each other once more?
This isn’t a long book, but is a suspenseful one. It’s also clearly well researched. Many Holocaust novels strive for some hope through contrived happy endings that are oh, so predictable. This isn’t one them. There’s hope here, and happiness, too, to be found among the tears, but they don’t come easy nor the way one would expect them.
Searching was Rochel Istrin’s first novel. Unfortunately for her, it was released just as her first publisher was closing and it never got the distribution and publicity this book deserved. So let’s try to make up for that now by giving this one a second shot and spreading the word. It’s a short book that’s worth the read.
Published by Targum.
We received a review copy of this book.
Purchase here now from Amazon.com.
Rochel Istrin is also the author of: