The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman- Our Review
This dazzling work of fiction shines a delicate light not only on the darkest times of World War 2, but also examines the universal question of what it is that truly makes us human. Is it our soul? Are souls restricted only to humans, or can other creatures develop one?
Our novel opens in Berlin, with a nod to Jewish mythology, when a mother go to see a prominent mystic, the most powerful Rabbi in Berlin, to create a being- a golem, to protect her only child. Instead the Rabbi’s daughter strikes a bargain and at great emotional and monetary cost, she sends them both out of the city to what she believes will be safety in Paris.
This element of magical realism adds another layer to what will become a stunningly complex story of human resistance and survival. This is also a haunting tribute to the Huguenots and the underground résistance in the French alps, to the countess villagers, doctors, nuns s and clerics who willingly put their lives and those of their families on the line for strangers – on the line for or humanity.
Hoffman’s writing is elegant and touchingly beautiful. This exquisite novel with its decency and its impeccable research that will resonate with you for a very long time.
Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books