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Far to Go: A Novel

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Overview

The Man Booker Prize finalist Far to Go by acclaimed author Alison Pick is historical fiction at its very best.

When Czechoslovakia relinquishes the Sudetenland to Hitler, the powerful influence of Nazi propaganda sweeps through towns and villages like a sinister vanguard of the Reich's advancing army. A fiercely patriotic secular Jew, Pavel Bauer is helpless to prevent his world from unraveling as first his government, then his business partners, then his neighbors turn their ...

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Far to Go

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Overview

The Man Booker Prize finalist Far to Go by acclaimed author Alison Pick is historical fiction at its very best.

When Czechoslovakia relinquishes the Sudetenland to Hitler, the powerful influence of Nazi propaganda sweeps through towns and villages like a sinister vanguard of the Reich's advancing army. A fiercely patriotic secular Jew, Pavel Bauer is helpless to prevent his world from unraveling as first his government, then his business partners, then his neighbors turn their back on his affluent, once-beloved family. Only the Bauers' adoring governess, Marta, sticks by Pavel, his wife, Anneliese, and their little son, Pepik, bound by her deep affection for her employers and friends. But when Marta learns of their impending betrayal at the hands of her lover, Ernst, Pavel's best friend, she is paralyzed by her own fear of discovery—even as the endangered family for whom she cares so deeply struggles with the most difficult decision of their lives.

Interwoven with a present-day narrative that gradually reveals the fate of the Bauer family during and after the war, Far to Go is a riveting family epic, love story, and psychological drama.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her second novel (after The Sweet Edge), Pick tackles the Holocaust with the story of a young Jewish family struggling to survive as the Nazis invade Czechoslovakia. Throughout 1938 and 1939, Pavel and Anneliese Bauer endure increasingly terrifying attacks on their dignity, freedom, and lives, clinging to a hope that the madness will soon end. Meanwhile, a present-day Holocaust historian (who remains awkwardly unidentified for some time), specializing in the Kindertransport and the many children it helped to escape from Czechoslovakia, takes a personal interest in the Bauers. Letters culled from the historian's files, written by people who were close to the Bauers, effectively punctuate the novel, but Pick's shuffling gamble with point-of-view produces mixed results. For instance, Marta, who both propels the tale and plays a significant role in it, is sometimes so naïve as to be unconvincing. But period details are authentic and well presented, as are the family's suffering and grief. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062034625
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 529,690
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Pick is the author of two acclaimed volumes of poetry and one previous novel, The Sweet Edge, a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book that was optioned for film. She is also the winner of Canada's prestigious Bronwen Wallace Award. Currently on the faculty at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Pick lives in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 19, 2011

    Highly recommend this book!

    As I started to read, I have to say that I was put off at first by the interruption of what I thought was a great story by the odd bits of present-day narrative that seemed to be randomly added at the end of each chapter, but by the end it made complete sense...

    Told from the perspective of Pepik's nanny, the story paints a picture of just how unbelievable and unexpected to individuals the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia was, until it was actually upon them, and too late. It was a world where you had no idea who to trust and how to make your way, and the author, Alison Pick, is able to capture that feeling of uncertainty and heartache. At the same time, she is able to capture the innocence and wonder felt by a five year old boy, watching trains and his nanny, who loves him as much as she would her own child.

    You know from the outset that history has already dictated most of the ending to this book, but there are still surprises in store for the reader and as sad as the book is, there is also joy and gladness present. This book will move you in many ways and it will shed light on a period in history that needs a spotlight. For me this was a very quick read and I absolutely could not put it down (except to reach for the Kleenex box) If you read historical fiction, you will want to read this!

    I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of completing my review. All opinions expressed are my own

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Bdivd

    Hdtebyebe

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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