The World That We Knew
by Alice Hoffman


Overview - This instant New York Times bestseller and longlist recipient for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal takes place in 1941, during humanity's darkest hour, and follows three unforgettable young women who must act with courage and love to survive.

" A] hymn to the power of resistance, perseverance, and enduring love in dark times...gravely beautiful...Hoffman the storyteller continues to dazzle." --THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Oh, what a book this is Hoffman's exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us--it is a glorious experience." --ELIZABETH STROUT, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

"Alice Hoffman's new novel will break your heart, and then stitch it back together piece by piece. It's my new favorite Hoffman book." --JODI PICOULT, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light

In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it's his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.

Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she's destined to be.

What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending.

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More About The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman
 
 
 
Overview
This instant New York Times bestseller and longlist recipient for the 2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal takes place in 1941, during humanity's darkest hour, and follows three unforgettable young women who must act with courage and love to survive.

" A] hymn to the power of resistance, perseverance, and enduring love in dark times...gravely beautiful...Hoffman the storyteller continues to dazzle." --THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Oh, what a book this is Hoffman's exploration of the world of good and evil, and the constant contest between them, is unflinching; and the humanity she brings to us--it is a glorious experience." --ELIZABETH STROUT, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge

"Alice Hoffman's new novel will break your heart, and then stitch it back together piece by piece. It's my new favorite Hoffman book." --JODI PICOULT, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light

In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it's his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.

Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she's destined to be.

What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never ending.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781501137570
  • ISBN-10: 1501137573
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publish Date: September 2019
  • Page Count: 384
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Historical - General
Books > Fiction > Occult & Supernatural

 
BookPage Reviews

The World That We Knew

Alice Hoffman is a brilliant weaver of magic and the mundane, as many of her novels have proven over the years. In her hands, a story we think we know, from a time we think we’ve extracted every possible detail, can become a soulful new voyage into the heart of the human condition. With her latest novel, The World That We Knew, Hoffman travels to a hidden world built amid the horrors of the Holocaust and brings forth a spellbinding tale of love, loss and what it means to endure. 

Hoffman’s story begins in 1941 in Berlin, where a young Jewish mother, Hanni, knows that she must find a way to smuggle her daughter, Lea, out of the city before the Nazis take notice of her. To do this, she turns to a rabbi for mystical help, only to discover that his daughter, Ettie, is more willing to help Lea through magical means. Ettie, working from knowledge she’s gained through observing her father, crafts a golem they call Ava to guide and protect Lea. Thus begins an unlikely and harrowing journey through France, where Ettie finds a new purpose, Lea finds her soul mate and Ava finds that she’s much more than a single-minded creation.

In beautifully precise prose, Hoffman chronicles the experiences of these characters and those whose lives they touch along the way. Throughout the next three years of the war, each woman tries to survive while also pursuing her own process of self-discovery. Though Nazi-occupied France is an endlessly compelling place to many readers, Hoffman never takes her historical setting for granted. Rather than leaving us to lean on what we think we know, she weaves a fully realized vision of the hidden parts of history, chronicling the stories of people who slipped through the cracks on their way to freedom and the emotional toll that freedom took. 

Page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, The World That We Knew presents a breathtaking, deeply emotional odyssey through the shadows of a dimming world while never failing to convince us that there is light somewhere at the end of it all. This book feels destined to become a high point in an already stellar career.

 

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Alice Hoffman discusses the origins and history behind The World That We Knew.

 
BAM Customer Reviews