In a small Bavarian town, a displaced persons camp set up by the Allies after World War II sets the scene for the opening of Fran Bartkowski’s touching novel, An Afterlife. There, Ruby and Ilya, both survivors of concentration and labor camps, meet at a time of heightened intensity, mate and wait to find out where their lives are about to begin again, either in America or what is then known as Palestine. They have survived the war, but are hardly unscathed. Family and home will need to be created anew. They forge tentative bonds with the German inhabitants of the town, bonds that might favor them in the process of applying for visas, living contained within the boundaries of the camp, guarded, ever-walking on eggshells.
An Afterlife follows Ruby and Ilya to northern New Jersey, where they face a whole new set of challenges, as individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress in a completely foreign culture, and as a young couple who are still coming to know one another.
The novel is told mostly from Ruby’s point of view, a character whose vitality and curiosity in the post-war years are her most remarkable features. Long after turning the last of its pages, readers will remember Ruby, with her pain and indomitable hope, and the love she holds for Ilya, a love that may or may not contain within it the seeds of her salvation.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)|