One very special work of art--a Chaim Soutine painting--will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.Read more...
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One very special work of art--a Chaim Soutine painting--will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this enthralling and transporting debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.
It is 1939 in Vienna, and as the specter of war darkens Europe, Rose Zimmer's parents are desperate. Unable to get out of Austria, they manage to secure passage for their young daughter on a kindertransport, and send her to live with strangers in England.
Six years later, the war finally over, a grief-stricken Rose attempts to build a life for herself. Alone in London, devastated, she cannot help but try to search out one piece of her childhood: the Chaim Soutine painting her mother had cherished.
Many years later, the painting finds its way to America. In modern-day Los Angeles, Lizzie Goldstein has returned home for her father's funeral. Newly single and unsure of her path, she also carries a burden of guilt that cannot be displaced. Years ago, as a teenager, Lizzie threw a party at her father's house with unexpected but far-reaching consequences. The Soutine painting that she loved and had provided lasting comfort to her after her own mother had died was stolen, and has never been recovered.
This painting will bring Lizzie and Rose together and ignite an unexpected friendship, eventually revealing long-held secrets that hold painful truths. Spanning decades and unfolding in crystalline, atmospheric prose, The Fortunate Ones is a haunting story of longing, devastation, and forgiveness, and a deep examination of the bonds and desires that map our private histories.
- ISBN-13: 9780062382481
- ISBN-10: 0062382489
- Publisher: William Morrow & Company
- Publish Date: February 2017
- Page Count: 336
- Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.06 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-12-19
- Reviewer: Staff
When New York lawyer Lizzie Goldsteins father dies in a car accident, she arrives in Los Angeles to go through his housethe house where, 20 years earlier, she hosted a party as a teenager and a priceless painting by Chaim Soutine, The Bellhop, was stolen. Lizzie has been carrying the guilt around for decades, and at the funeral she meets the original owner of the painting: Rose Downes. In 1939, Rose and her brother had been two of many Jewish children on the kindertransports during World War II who were evacuated from Vienna to England, leaving behind their parents, their home, and in Roses case, Soutines bellhop. The story unfolds in alternating chapters of Lizzies slow recovery from grief in L.A. and Roses coming-of-age as a refugee in London. The two stories meet in 2008 when the women, both settled in L.A., become friends, united by the missing painting. For both women, the painting comes to represent what might have been and the complex past. Umanskys vivid telling of the scenes in Vienna and life in wartime London are lovingly juxtaposed against the modern angst of Southern California. (Feb.)