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OTHER PEOPLE’S PETS by R.L. Maizes. La La Fine relates better to animals than people. Her father Zev is a locksmith by profession but uses his skills for burglary! La La begins studying to be a vet. When her father is imprisoned, she needs to pay for his legal expenses. She starts robbing houses where pets seem to be in need of care. A thief who leaves behind medicine for pets is a puzzle for the police. A quirky, highly enjoyable debut novel.
A KNOCK AT THE DOOR by Ory Slonim. The story of Ory Slonim who for two decades was known in Israel as the ‘door knocker’, undertaking secret negotiations to find the whereabouts of soldiers taken captive. His mission was to bring them home, dead or alive. Slonim takes you into the world of Mossad, the minds of terrorists and the traumatized lives of parents whose children never came home. The book shows his resilience and compassion.
BELONGING AND BETRAYAL by Charles Dellheim. The book showcases the many influential pre-WWII Jewish art dealers, connoisseurs and collectors who changed the early 20th century art world. One example is Paul Rosenberg who had to flee Paris in 1940, leaving 400 works behind. Dellheim attributes the prominence of Jews as art collectors to a means to find respectability. He highlights their fates, fortunes and some of their devastating betrayals.
THE WOMEN OF ROTHSCHILD by Natalie Livingstone. This book reveals the role of the Rothschild women whose vision and tenacity shaped history. Livingstone focuses on 15 of these extraordinary women who used their privilege to create their own platforms, beginning in the 1800s in the Frankfurt Ghetto with Gutle the matriarch, to the early 21st century. Their significance in many spheres is not overshadowed by the Rothschild men.
THE VANISHED COLLECTION by Pauline Baer de Perignon. The author grew up knowing very little about her great grand-father Jules Strauss. A chance encounter with a cousin raised the possibility that his collection of art and antiques was stolen by the Nazis. Assisted by researchers, museum curators and even Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano, she began piecing together her family’s lost treasures. A heartening and riveting read.
THE SANEST GUY IN THE ROOM by Don Black. Born in Britain to Ukrainian Jewish parents, Black is one of the world’s greatest 20th century lyricists. He has worked with artists such as Matt Monro, Shirley Bassey, Michael Jackson, Henry Mancini, Barbara Streisand and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Interwoven with the stories behind his songs such as Diamonds are Forever, Thunderball and Born Free, are vignettes of his life with his beloved late wife Shirley.
TO REPAIR A BROKEN WORLD by Dvora Hacohen. An inspiring biography of Henrietta Szold, founder of Hadassah. The book is based on letters and diaries, providing a portrait of the woman who devoted her life to the disadvantaged. It offers an insight into the early years of the Jewish community in pre-Israel Palestine, including the story of the first nurses and doctors sent to Jerusalem, and the founding of the Youth Aliyah network.
MOTHER DAUGHTER WIDOW WIFE by Robin Wasserman. A suspenseful and intelligent novel. Wendy Doe, found on a bus to Philadelphia, has total amnesia. She is treated by Dr Benjamin Strauss and his ambitious student. The story flashes forward two decades, when Alice — Wendy’s daughter — hopes to find her mother who has disappeared once again, by understanding her past. A multi-voiced narrative of discovery, identity and memory.
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• Published in the PDF edition of the June 2022 issue – Click here to read it.
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