By: Jenna Blum
Publication Date: 6/5/2018
My Rating: 4 Stars
The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.
In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.
Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.
Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.
About the Author
JENNA BLUM is the New York Times and # 1 international bestselling author of novels Those Who Save Us (Harcourt, 2004) and The Stormchasers (Dutton, 2010); novella “The Lucky One” in the postwar anthology Grand Central (Penguin, 2014); and audio course “The Author At Work: The Art of Writing Fiction” (Recorded Books, 2014). Jenna is also one of Oprah’s Top 30 Women Writers.
Jenna’s debut novel Those Who Save Us is a New York Times and international bestseller and was Holland’s # 1 bestseller in 2011. Those Who Save Us is also a Boston Globe bestseller and 2005 winner of the Ribalow Prize, adjudged by Elie Wiesel. Those Who Save Us is a perennial book club favorite; to discuss the novel, Jenna visited over 800 book clubs in the Boston area alone.
Jenna’s second novel, The Stormchasers, which Jenna researched by chasing tornadoes for eight years, is an international bestseller, Boston Globe bestseller, Target Emerging Author Pick, BORDERS bestseller, and has been featured in French Elle.
Jenna earned a B.A. at Kenyon College and an M.A. in Creative Writing at Boston University, where she taught Creative and Communications Writing for 5 years and was editor of AGNI Literary Magazine. Jenna has taught fiction and novel workshops for Boston’s Grub Street Writers for almost 20 years and is a regular column contributor to Grub Daily. Based in Boston, Jenna travels nationally and internationally to speak about her novels; she visits book clubs in person, by phone, or via Skype. Please follow Jenna on Facebook (Jenna Blum) and Twitter (@Jenna_Blum). Read More