Send For Me
By: Lauren Fox
Publication Date: 02/02/21
My Rating: TBR
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An achingly beautiful work of historical fiction that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present-day Wisconsin, unspooling a thread of love, longing, and the powerful bonds of family.
Annelise is a dreamer: imagining her future while working at her parents' popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany, anticipating all the delicious possibilities yet to come. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, but Annelise and her parents can't quite believe that it will affect them; they're hardly religious at all. But as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer: a brick thrown through her window; a childhood friend who cuts ties with her; customers refusing to patronize the bakery. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain.
Two generations later, in a small Midwestern city, Annelise's granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother's letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family's sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she's faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future. A novel of dazzling emotional richness that is based on letters from Lauren Fox's own family, Send for Me is a major departure for this acclaimed author, an epic and intimate exploration of mothers and daughters, duty and obligation, hope and forgiveness.
An Indie Next Great Read
A Parade Best 2021 Releases to Read This Winter
"An anthropological excavation... It is haunted throughout by the endlessly fascinating question of inheritance. How much of our stories — and which parts — truly belong to us?... The book is a real achievement — beautifully written, deeply felt, tender and thoughtful... The storytelling is patient, generous... The major accomplishment of “Send for Me” [is] its vivid depiction of a family’s heartbreak, its rending and rebuilding."
—Clare Lombardo, New York Times Book Review
"An artfully constructed and richly absorbing novel that shows how love is strengthened, not weakened, over distance and time.”
—Malcolm Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Fox crafts a heartbreaking tale about how the separation of one mother and daughter was so excruciating that the shadow of that moment lingers on in the family’s descendents. Send for Me examines how trauma can be inherited and how it’s lingering aches can impact future generations."
—The Middletown Press
"Real family letters from Nazi era heighten Send for Me... The Shorewood writer has fused her vocation and her legacy in a memorable way. Her historical novel Send for Me builds on those letters to portray four generations of women in a family ruptured by the Nazi regime... Relevant."
—Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"A sense of foreboding shadows this bittersweet intergenerational tale of love and trauma... Subtle, striking, and punctuated by snippets of family letters.. Fox has imbued this deeply personal, ultimately hopeful novel, which she explains in an author’s note is based on her own family’s story, with emotion, empathy, and an essential understanding of the complicated bonds between generations and the importance of reckoning with the past in order to embrace the future.
An intimate, insightful, intricately rendered story of intergenerational trauma and love."
"Fox deftly moves between generations as she illuminates the ways that choices echo through the lives of those who came after. This thoughtful, character-driven exploration of the unbreakable bonds of motherhood will appeal to fans of Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg.”
“Send For Me is a rare and beautiful novel. In luminous prose, with great economy and precision, Lauren Fox twines together two stories: one that explores both the menace and the day-to-day ordinariness of life in Germany under Hitler, and its aftermath, and one that captures the yearning and intensity of youth in the present day. While sorrow may be inevitable, Fox seems to say, life is also threaded with hope and joy and human connection. I loved this book.”
—Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train
"Send For Me is stunning in its tender poignancy. A beautifully told story of intergenerational loves and sorrows, the long shadow of memory, and how hope can repair the heartache woven into a family's DNA."
—Jennifer Rosner, author of The Yellow Bird Sings
"Imbued with lyrical prose, Send For Me is a beautiful tale of heartbreak and renewal, and of the love and loss we carry with us, generation after generation."
—Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones
"Spanning generations and continents, from pre-WWII Germany to current day midwestern America, Send For Me is a richly imagined testament to the ties that bind: the intricate web of familial duty, the profound love between mothers and daughters, and the tension between honoring one's heritage while not being defined by it. Lauren Fox's first historical novel is moving, heartfelt, and filled with love."
—Whitney Scharer, author of Age of Light
"Fox satisfyingly brings this story of love and desire full circle, as Clare and Ruth reflect on what it means to be both a mother and a child in the darkest of times. This tender and deeply inspired story will move readers." —Publishers Weekly
In searching for a book that was beautifully written and captured the times, a New York Times book editor recommended that I read 'Send For Me' by Lauren Fox. I think I read it in two days." —Jenna Bush Hager, TODAY
About the Author
LAUREN FOX, who earned her M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, is the author of the novels Days of Awe, Still Life with Husband, and Friends Like Us.
Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Parenting, Psychology Today, The Rumpus, and Salon.
She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two daughters. Website