|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
A spellbinding new novel of contraband masterpieces, tragic love, and the unexpected legacies of forgotten crimes, Ayelet Waldman’s Love and Treasure weaves a tale around the fascinating, true history of the Hungarian Gold Train in the Second World War.
In 1945 on the outskirts of Salzburg, victorious American soldiers capture a train filled with unspeakable riches: piles of fine gold watches; mountains of fur coats; crates filled with wedding rings, silver picture frames, family heirlooms, and Shabbat candlesticks passed down through generations. Jack Wiseman, a tough, smart New York Jew, is the lieutenant charged with guarding this treasure—a responsibility that grows more complicated when he meets Ilona, a fierce, beautiful Hungarian who has lost everything in the ravages of the Holocaust. Seventy years later, amid the shadowy world of art dealers who profit off the sins of previous generations, Jack gives a necklace to his granddaughter, Natalie Stein, and charges her with searching for an unknown woman—a woman whose portrait and fate come to haunt Natalie, a woman whose secret may help Natalie to understand the guilt her grandfather will take to his grave and to find a way out of the mess she has made of her own life.
A story of brilliantly drawn characters—a suave and shady art historian, a delusive and infatuated Freudian, a family of singing circus dwarfs fallen into the clutches of Josef Mengele, and desperate lovers facing choices that will tear them apart—Love and Treasure is Ayelet Waldman’s finest novel to date: a sad, funny, richly detailed work that poses hard questions about the value of precious things in a time when life itself has no value, and about the slenderest of chains that can bind us to the griefs and passions of the past.
A mixed bag. Love & Treasure starts off strong and then flails at the end. Told in three parts, each section explores the themes of WWII, the Holocaust, the Hungarian Gold Train, friendship, love, and family. A historical fiction that unfolds in a generational mode, tells the story of Jack Wiseman's guilt and possession of a necklace he took from the very train he was ordered to guard; and the story of his granddaughter's search for her own purpose in life, along with a mission for her grandfather. In this novel, we get to dip back in time to the events following WWII and the experience of the Hungarian Jews who were forced to give up their valuables and their lives. Told through the voices of fully developed characters, this story captivates from the start. However, as the psychiatrist takes charge in the third section, the book simply falls apart. I was disappointed by the end, but so engrossed by the first two sections that I'm positive I would read more books by Waldman.
Don't just take my word, check out more reviews of Waldman's novel, Love & Treasure. Here's the TLC Book tour schedule for: Love & Treasure
GIVEAWAY: Open to US residents only. One copy is up for grabs thanks to the publisher. All you have to do is leave me a comment letting me know that you want your name thrown in the hat for the giveaway. Don't forget to leave me your email address, so that I can contact you in case you win. Last day to enter is June 30th, 2014. Good Luck!!