Pictures of the Past by Deby Eisenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Received to Review through Pump Up Your Book Tours
My thoughts: This book is beautifully written. It follows the stories of several people, all connected in some way by a painting. This book encompasses contemporary times, World War II, and the 1960's.
Every story is somehow tragically touched by the atrocities done to the Jews during WWII. The book opens when an elderly lady is taken to the Art Institute of Chicago and sees a painting that she remembers hanging in her neighbors home in Berlin. It was at the Berger family, a Jewish family. She sees this painting as another example of the Nazi theft of their victims priceless treasures.
The story then turns to illustrating a love story. This is the story of a young man and woman who are torn apart during WWII. He is an American and she is a German Jew. Taylor Woodmere purchased the painting for the woman he was going to marry. As soon as he met Sarah Berger, his plans for marriage changed and the picture ends up in her hands and home.
This story is mainly about Taylor and Sarah. It shows the great love they have for one another and the tragedy that became their lives when Sarah was swept in Hitlers plans to exterminate the Jewish people.
This book is about a sad and reprehensible time in the history of the world. Throughout the story her message remains one of hope and the resilience of the Jewish people. Deby Eisenberg has written a powerful novel and a wonderful love story.
Content warning: mild swearing and intimacy behind closed doors.
As the leader of an established Chicago area Book Club, Deby Eisenberg challenged herself to write a novel that her avid readers could not put down and would love to discuss. With a Masters Degree from the University of Chicago, she is a former English teacher and journalist. Inspired by so many wonderful books and formidable authors, and drawing on her love of literary research, art, architecture, Jewish history, and travel in the United States and Europe, she tried to envision a multi-generational love story that would inform as well as entertain, that would broaden the mind and open the heart. Deby and her husband Michael, an obstetrician-gynecologist, live in Riverwoods, Illinois. They have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Her latest book is the historical fiction novel, Pictures of the Past.
You can visit her website at www.debyeisenberg.com.(Author info is taken from the tour page at Pump Up Your Book)