Every family holds to secrets, but some are far darker, reach deeper, and touch a rawer nerve than others.
Vanesa Neuman is the daughter of Holocaust survivors, and her childhood in the cramped intimacy of south Tel Aviv is shadowed by her parents' unspoken wartime experiences. The past for her was a closed book, until her father passed away. Vanesa must now unravel the mystery of the diary she has received - and the strange symbol within - at all costs.
From Jerusalem's Yad V'Shem Holocaust research center, to the backstreets of Prague, and into the former "paradise ghetto" of Theresienstadt, Vanesa's journey of understanding will reveal a darker family past than she ever imagined - a secret kept alive for over half a century.
©2015 Evolved Publishing LLC (P)2016 Evolved Publishing LLC
It is really difficult to find a contemporary mystery. This book qualifies. I would also catalog it under thriller, suspense and even horror due to the nature of the subject matter.
I learned a ton from this book and even found myself doing research on certain subplots after I had finished.
Galerie was really well written, the pace was excellent and the narrator did a superb job.
Thank you Mr. Greenberg and Mr. Deakins for a first rate listen!
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher
Avid reader who is also a mommy. Audible saved my reading time!
Vanesa grows up in a house with three holocaust survivors, her mother, father, and grandfather. She also has an uncle who, though despised by the rest of her family, seems to be the only one capable of allowing Vanesa to express her feelings. She feels close to him. Her mother is a silent, solitary woman who is clearly not very stable after the horrors of the war. Her father is an angry, bitter man who despises his father for some unfathomable reason. Her grandfather is a broken, sad man who tolerates the abuse of his son.
Vanesa grows up not understanding her family dynamic but silently wondering what the unspoken and unfelt emotions are all about. She finally gets a chance at understanding when her father passes and she inherits a diary, of sorts, from him. This diary sends her headlong onto a quest to finally know why her family was so tormented by surviving the holocaust. Clearly, though, someone does not want her to know the secrets of her father’s diary. She is urinated on in Prague, then attacked at Theresienstadt, and finally kidnapped in a basement of horrors beyond her imagining. The horror comes home when she discovers just how her family is connected to the keeper of this dark secret.
Told mostly through the eyes of Vanesa’s estranged husband, there is a melancholy, forlorn quality to it as her husband describes seeing Vanesa for the first time and then falling in love with her and then, ultimately, being rejected by her as she is consumed with the need to understand what happened to her family all those years ago.
This is a wonderfully crafted listen with an outstanding narration. The accents are superb and the voices are varied and distinct. Mark Deakins really does this material justice. And it’s all the more haunting because knowing what we know now about the nazi’s, this could have really happened.
I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
I read all kinds of books, but I have an obsession with paranormal and fantasy at the moment. Sorry about any spelling mistakes/typos.
Fairly high up there, it didn't quite make it to 5 stars because I'm not planning to listen to it again and that's my final criteria to get the fifth star. But this was a very well crafted story that kept dropping hints along the way and building the anticipation. It was very well done.
The reveal scene, definitely, but if I told you about it, that would be a major spoiler. I'll just say that it is quite spectacular.
Everything! Mark has a lovely voice, I'd listen if he decided to read a dictionary out loud.
That said, I was impressed by the character voices he created, both male and female, they were all distinct and consistent throughout the book. He also did a fabulous job with all the non-English words.
Note: This book was provided free by the author/narrator/publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.
I am a wee bit over the half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lo
This was a hard book to like,but I LOVED it once it all made sense.Vanessa is the granddaughter of Haloucaust survivors.Her family is a long line of taxidermists.She does not think this is an odd choice for a hobby.She gets ensnared in decades old evil and learns just what her family did to survive.A horrible yet delightful realization.Mark Deakins was a fine narrator.I was provided this book free by the author,narraror or publisher.
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