The Lost Family
The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980sIn 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

The Lost Family Details

TitleThe Lost Family
Author
ReleaseJun 5th, 2018
PublisherHarper
ISBN-139780062742162
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Family

The Lost Family Review

  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    Peter lost everything important to him in the war, in fact he almost lost himself. Finally, after the liberation of the concentration camp he makes it to America, where he becomes a chef and part owner of a well respected restaurant. This is where he first sees June, twenty years his junior, on her way to becoming a top model. Her vivacity and innocence attracts Peter, and he soon looks on her as the way to start a new life, a second chance.The long effects of trauma, loss and grief, strong tent Peter lost everything important to him in the war, in fact he almost lost himself. Finally, after the liberation of the concentration camp he makes it to America, where he becomes a chef and part owner of a well respected restaurant. This is where he first sees June, twenty years his junior, on her way to becoming a top model. Her vivacity and innocence attracts Peter, and he soon looks on her as the way to start a new life, a second chance.The long effects of trauma, loss and grief, strong tentacles that will follow Peter and his new family. June is at times, well truthfully for me many times, a character that is hard to like. Though I admit I did feel sorry for her occasionally, trying to penetrates Peter's reserve, her wanting to have her own life. Their daughter Elsbeth goes through some troubling times, but she was easier for me to understand. The author does a wonderful job painting a picture of the righties punk scene in Manhattan. The avant garde artists, controversial art shows, and a young girl who gets caught up in something she little understands. A good story, a relateable family and a look into the sixties, seventies and eighties. Quite well done.ARC from Edelweiss.
    more
  • Jenna Blum
    January 1, 1970
    This is the best third novel I ever wrote! I hope you love it, too. :) *out from Harper Collins 6.5.18!*
  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars. It is an immigrant story. It is a family story. It is a parenting story. I liken it to a mix of The Two-Family House by Lynda Loigman (amazing book) and Mad Men. Blum has written a huge masterpiece that should be read and absorbed by all.I received an advance digital copy from the publisher.
    more
  • Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. What a story of pain and loss. The story of Peter and his first family was one of tragedy. It is a story that will stick with me for some time. The tragedy that he endured overshadowed the rest of his life influencing all the relationships from then on. This is the second book by Blum that I have read and once again she did not fail to deliver. I received an ARC from Edelweiss. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
    more
  • Mieke Schepens
    January 1, 1970
    In drie delen, met als titel de namen van het gezin van Peter Rashkin, leren we deze gezinsleden goed kennen. Ieder heeft toch een eigen agenda, hoezeer ze ook bij elkaar betrokken zijn. Dat is ook een verloren familie, zoals de titel van het boek aangeeft. In het eerste deel ‘Peter 1965’ kijk je voornamelijk mee door de ogen van Peter, het tweede deel ‘June 1975’ is aan zijn vrouw June gewijd en tenslotte lees je over Elsbeth door de ogen van Elsbeth in ‘Elsbeth1985’. Op het voorblad van elk va In drie delen, met als titel de namen van het gezin van Peter Rashkin, leren we deze gezinsleden goed kennen. Ieder heeft toch een eigen agenda, hoezeer ze ook bij elkaar betrokken zijn. Dat is ook een verloren familie, zoals de titel van het boek aangeeft. In het eerste deel ‘Peter 1965’ kijk je voornamelijk mee door de ogen van Peter, het tweede deel ‘June 1975’ is aan zijn vrouw June gewijd en tenslotte lees je over Elsbeth door de ogen van Elsbeth in ‘Elsbeth1985’. Op het voorblad van elk van de drie delen staat een quote die goed gekozen is voor de persoon uit wiens perspectief we voornamelijk dat deel lezen. Het onderwerp van dit verhaal is hoe de gevolgen van de Tweede Wereldoorlog impact (kunnen) hebben op het leven van een overlever.Het maakt daarvoor niets uit dat je de halve wereld over reist naar Amerika voor een nieuw begin.Lees hier mijn recensie verder: https://graaggelezen.blogspot.nl/2017...
    more
  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Years ago, in one of my previous jobs, I had the privilege to meet many holocaust survivors who shared their heartbreaking stories of survival and new beginnings in other countries far from their home. Although I greatly admired their resilience and the human survival spirit, and their capacity to forgive and start over, I also realised that there was often a huge price to pay for the trauma they had endured. One was survivor’s guilt, of having escaped the death camps when so many of their famil Years ago, in one of my previous jobs, I had the privilege to meet many holocaust survivors who shared their heartbreaking stories of survival and new beginnings in other countries far from their home. Although I greatly admired their resilience and the human survival spirit, and their capacity to forgive and start over, I also realised that there was often a huge price to pay for the trauma they had endured. One was survivor’s guilt, of having escaped the death camps when so many of their family and friends were not able to. Although they had moved on, married and had children in their new country, many said that they were not able to share their experiences with those nearest and dearest to them, and that the past remained an ever present ghost in their lives, which their families could not understand. This lasting effect of trauma is the very thing Blum explores in her latest novel, The Lost Family. Peter Rashkin, a German Jew who has managed to escape the death camps and has fled to America to start a new life, is still haunted by the death of his wife and their small twin daughters during the war. When he meets the vivacious, beautiful and innocent model June Bouquet, he thinks that she will be his salvation, the woman who will rescue him from his grief and allow him to move on. But Peter’s trauma is a heavy burden, one that will threaten to destroy his marriage and affect his daughter Elsbeth, who grows up in the shadow of the ghosts of her half-sisters, even though Peter will never talk about them.Blum’s novel is told in three distinctive parts. Part one is told from Peter’s POV, as he is trying to make a new start in America, working in his restaurant Masha’s in New York. It is there that he first meets and falls in love with June, whose youth and happiness seems to be the perfect cure for his grief. June, who has grown up without a father, is drawn to the much older and mysterious Peter, basking in his adoration. When a shocked June first finds out about Masha’s and the twins’ deaths and suggests that Peter see a therapist to talk about his trauma, he replies: “Why would I need an analyst? I am happy now. I have you.” Part two is set ten years later as an unhappy June reflects on motherhood, marriage and her lost dreams, trying to find a way out of her lonely life. The last part, another decade on, tells about sixteen-year-old Elsbeth, who is propelled into adulthood through a chance encounter. For me, the first part of the novel was definitely my favourite. I loved the atmospheric setting and the descriptions of the magical food creations Peter serves up in his restaurant, named after his dead wife. As he first meets June and falls in love, for the first time hoping that the future will bring a new beginning, I so much hoped that he would be able to find happiness. The latter two thirds of the book are a lot more difficult to read, as they deal with the fall-out of Peter’s past on the other family members, who will never be able to grasp the full extent of the trauma but are nonetheless deeply affected by it. As the granddaughter of a POW I recognised the signs of PTSD in Peter, which also scarred my grandfather, and therefore his children, including my mother. Blum paints an insightful and realistic picture of a marriage where both partners are trying to find salvation in each other to escape the past, but which ends up drowning them. It is, at times, unspeakably sad and tragic to read. There were a few things left unanswered that stayed in my mind long after I finished reading, and I realised how deeply this story had troubled me.In summary, Blum’s novel The Lost Family is an insightful portrayal of a family shaped by loss and grief. With its atmospheric setting and believable characters, it effortlessly propelled me into a New York of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, as each of the family members drift away from each other, flotsam of a war that left a heavy burden of grief to carry. This is a topic not often explored in novels, and although it left me feeling unspeakably sad, it was a poignant reminder of the burden of the past impacting on our relationships and shaping future generations. I look forward to reading more from this author in future.3.25 starsThank you to Edelweiss and Harper Books for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
    more
  • Susan Peterson
    January 1, 1970
    While grieving one lost family, a man puts his new family on the line...will he lose them too? The Lost Family is a haunting look at a family...a family built from the ashes of loss and grief. I thought it was interesting that the story was divided into three sections; 1965, which is the father’s story; 1975 is the mother’s perspective; 1985 is told from the daughter’s point of view. Each of the three has a unique story to tell, and events of the past have an everlasting effect on the relationsh While grieving one lost family, a man puts his new family on the line...will he lose them too? The Lost Family is a haunting look at a family...a family built from the ashes of loss and grief. I thought it was interesting that the story was divided into three sections; 1965, which is the father’s story; 1975 is the mother’s perspective; 1985 is told from the daughter’s point of view. Each of the three has a unique story to tell, and events of the past have an everlasting effect on the relationships of this family. The author does a fantastic job of putting the reader into each of the three decades, through fashion, food, music, and even the ever-changing atmosphere of New York City.
    more
  • Crystal King
    January 1, 1970
    THE LOST FAMILY is definitely my favorite Jenna Blum book. Don't get me wrong, I loved her other novels, but this one really grabbed me. It was a fantastic combination of heart, family, food and dark history. Blum is a masterful writer and a master of character development. I cared deeply about the world of Peter Rashkin and June Bouquet and the ghosts of the past that held the family in thrall. It's a big book in its span of three decades and the historical research that Blum did to bring it to THE LOST FAMILY is definitely my favorite Jenna Blum book. Don't get me wrong, I loved her other novels, but this one really grabbed me. It was a fantastic combination of heart, family, food and dark history. Blum is a masterful writer and a master of character development. I cared deeply about the world of Peter Rashkin and June Bouquet and the ghosts of the past that held the family in thrall. It's a big book in its span of three decades and the historical research that Blum did to bring it to life is impeccable. It's a novel of immigrants, a novel for foodies, a novel of family, a novel of beauty and a novel of love and loss. A novel you should definitely add to your TBR list ASAP.
    more
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful novel about family and is so well written that it will stay with me long after the last page was read. Peter lost his wife and twin daughters to the concentraton camps in WWII. He has moved to NYC to try to start his life over but is unable to let go of his past and think about his future. He marries June, hoping that her youth and love of life will help him learn how to enjoy life. They have a child, Elsbeth, who should bring joy to both parents but they have difficulty let This is a wonderful novel about family and is so well written that it will stay with me long after the last page was read. Peter lost his wife and twin daughters to the concentraton camps in WWII. He has moved to NYC to try to start his life over but is unable to let go of his past and think about his future. He marries June, hoping that her youth and love of life will help him learn how to enjoy life. They have a child, Elsbeth, who should bring joy to both parents but they have difficulty letting go of their pasts. Is Peter going to lose his new family, too?I loved the way the book was set up. The first section 1965 is told from Peter's perspective, the second section, 1975 is told from June's perspective and the last section, 1985 is told from Elsbeth's. Using this technique, we get the deepest thoughts of all three main characters and learn to love them - flaws and all. This is a wonderful well written book and my first book by Jenna Blum. I need to go back and read her earlier books now.
    more
  • Courtney Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Solid 3.5. Started slow, for me, but picked up rather quickly. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole story -- will give a real review soon.A hard to put down story of pain, perseverance, despair, hope, loss, success, starting-over, and family. Excellent imagery throughout the book, even when describing the very hard-to-read scenes of Peter's previous life. Overall, the story kept my interest enough that it turned into a real page turner. The story was going in directions that I wasn' Solid 3.5. Started slow, for me, but picked up rather quickly. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the whole story -- will give a real review soon.A hard to put down story of pain, perseverance, despair, hope, loss, success, starting-over, and family. Excellent imagery throughout the book, even when describing the very hard-to-read scenes of Peter's previous life. Overall, the story kept my interest enough that it turned into a real page turner. The story was going in directions that I wasn't expecting, which was nice. I like being surprised when reading. That being said, the idea of the "lost family" seemed to take a back seat to the "current family" that the story really became about. In the end, I was left wanting more. Wanting to know more about the "lost family" from Peter's perspective. Wanting to know what became of June. How Elsbeth fared. Just more.
    more
  • Mary Olson
    January 1, 1970
    The Lost Family is, in essence, a ghost story. After surviving Auschwitz but losing his wife and twin daughters to Nazi death camps, Peter Rashkin emigrates from Europe and begins life anew in the United States. A successful Manhattan restaurant named for his lost wife consumes all his time and energy and allows Peter to honor Masha without having to invest emotionally in life. That is, until the elegant supermodel of the '60s, June Bouquet, enters the restaurant. Smitten, Peter soon proposes, s The Lost Family is, in essence, a ghost story. After surviving Auschwitz but losing his wife and twin daughters to Nazi death camps, Peter Rashkin emigrates from Europe and begins life anew in the United States. A successful Manhattan restaurant named for his lost wife consumes all his time and energy and allows Peter to honor Masha without having to invest emotionally in life. That is, until the elegant supermodel of the '60s, June Bouquet, enters the restaurant. Smitten, Peter soon proposes, setting the couple, and later their daughter, on a path that will always be haunted by his first family: either by their memory or by comparison. From the 1960s through the mid-80s, readers are treated to historical details of time, place, and style. Jenna Blum is a master at portraying her characters' complex emotions and motivations in an almost poetic way, giving this story a beautiful melancholy which perfectly reflects the depth of Peter's loss.
    more
  • Ciska Bokhorst
    January 1, 1970
    Niet wat ik ervan verwachtte. De tweede wereld oorlog komt nauwelijks aan bod zelfs niet in flashbacks. Had geen klik met de hoofdpersonages. Het is eerder een familie roman met een behoorlijk getroubleerd gezin. Je leest eerst vanuit Peter, dan June en dan Elsbeth. Met verschillende tijdspanne. Dat vond ik niet echt fijn lezen.Haar schrijfstijl leest wel prettig en ze kan goed sfeer neer zetten. Maar helaas geen boek voor mij.....
    more
  • Carol Boyer
    January 1, 1970
    This is an extraordinary story that will take your heart on a journey that is heartbreaking, deeply compassionate and told with authenticity about the tragedy that Peter Rashkin experienced during WWII. He lost his beloved wife Masha and his two little daughters to the Nazi's while trying desperately to escape with the rushing crowds. Trying to forget his loss he throws himself into his restaurant which he named after his wife Masha. He is a man driven and consumed by his work, frozen in his gri This is an extraordinary story that will take your heart on a journey that is heartbreaking, deeply compassionate and told with authenticity about the tragedy that Peter Rashkin experienced during WWII. He lost his beloved wife Masha and his two little daughters to the Nazi's while trying desperately to escape with the rushing crowds. Trying to forget his loss he throws himself into his restaurant which he named after his wife Masha. He is a man driven and consumed by his work, frozen in his grief, until one day he is undeniably drawn to a beautiful model June Bouquet. Although she is 20 years younger he can not help falling for her, but times are not easy when he tries to make a life with her thinking he can forget his past. June becomes pregnant unexpectedly and there is much drama around this event that is filled with sadness, hope and eventually their daughter Elsbeth is born bringing a whole new perspective to the family that Peter tried to believe would take away his unbearable grief. Events evolve bringing a sense of suspense as the author targets different decades with rich descriptive detail of Masha's delicious foods and recipes, and character development. Elsbeth story is sad, it develops into one that tells how this family is lost in so many ways and how bittersweet redemption is formed. I enjoyed receiving this book and look forward to reading more of Jenna Blum's work.
    more
  • Narci Drossos
    January 1, 1970
    I really cared about each and every character in this novel, and I can't say that about each novel I read. I genuinely found the persons in these interwoven stories engaging and interesting, along with their settings (country clubs, NYC museums/galleries, restaurants, suburbs). I recommend for bookclubs interested in chefs, eighties, eating disorders....excellent dialogue. Themes: holocaust survivors, survivors' guilt, eating disorders, angsty teens, artists with issues, foodies with issues.
    more
  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars....This book just about ripped my heart out at times. Peter is a successful chef in NYC in the early 60's. He is a quiet man, & he carries around ghosts, the ghosts of his family lost forever. He meets an intriguing young model & so their story begins. The makings of a love story. The part I felt so strongly in this part of the book, was what NYC & modeling was like in that era. Pre "super models" & there was a certain level of sophistication to dining & dating. Eac 4.5 stars....This book just about ripped my heart out at times. Peter is a successful chef in NYC in the early 60's. He is a quiet man, & he carries around ghosts, the ghosts of his family lost forever. He meets an intriguing young model & so their story begins. The makings of a love story. The part I felt so strongly in this part of the book, was what NYC & modeling was like in that era. Pre "super models" & there was a certain level of sophistication to dining & dating. Each section of the book moves ahead by a year or several years & through it all we learn of Peter's former life, how he has or has not coped with it & the effect it has on his relationship with June & their future. Heartbreaking & frustrating at times. His loss & his guilt are something he carries for his entire life & we see what it does to a family who wants to understand yet they too are carrying these ghosts around with them.I won't post any spoilers.....This was a great read & I just love Jenna Blum's writing, so vivid.I received an advanced, uncorrected copy of this book from Edelweiss for an honest opinion.
    more
  • Sally Koslow
    January 1, 1970
    Jenna Blum has done it again: created a story whose characters feel achingly real. By switching viewpoints and time frames, she's crafted a "big" book spanning generations that you whip through quickly, because of its sharp dialogue and what's-next? quality. As both an upper midwesterner and a New Yorker, I appreciated the book's authenticity.
    more
  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Kudos to Jenna Blum , Author of “The Lost Family” for writing an amazing, intriguing, captivating, and poignant novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and touches on significant moments in history. Jenna writes in such a vivid and descriptive way, that is appeals to one’ s sense. In her scenes of the food in the restaurant, I feel that I am in the kitchen at one moment, and then sitting in the dining room sampling gourmet food and tasty desserts. The author portrays the p Kudos to Jenna Blum , Author of “The Lost Family” for writing an amazing, intriguing, captivating, and poignant novel. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and touches on significant moments in history. Jenna writes in such a vivid and descriptive way, that is appeals to one’ s sense. In her scenes of the food in the restaurant, I feel that I am in the kitchen at one moment, and then sitting in the dining room sampling gourmet food and tasty desserts. The author portrays the physical and emotional qualities of the characters as well.Jenna describes her colorful cast of characters as complex and complicated. This is a novel of loss and love, dysfunctional family members with problems and a difficult history. The timeline of the story is around 1965 and goes to the past and future, when it pertains to the characters and events. How is it possible to learn from the problems of the past in order to avoid problems in the present and the future?In 1965, many people go to Masha’s Restaurant for the ambience,the spectacular gourmet food, with special detail to servicing their guests. Peter Rashkin is the gourmet part owner and Chef. He has named this restaurant for his deceased wife, Masha who perished in a Nazi Concentration Camp while he survived the horrors of World War Two. Peter is very handsome, but has little interest in a longtime relationship, until he meets a model, June Bouquet. Will Peter be able to put his past behind him? Peter holds many dark secrets close to his heart, and can’t speak about them.I appreciate that Jenna tackles some very important issues, such as PTSD, and the horrors of World War Two, and Vietnam and the effects on the people and their families. The importance of family, love and emotional support are discussed as well as loss and love, acceptance, forgiveness and hope.The issue of food and lack of food is very symbolic. Lack of food during World War Two, and starving people, versus purposely starving oneself to stay thin, and mental disorders as bulimia, and anorexia are mentioned. There is also the gourmet food, cooking and preparation, as well as traditional holidays where food is the main focus.I loved everything Jenna Blum’s novel and highly recommend this to readers of Fiction. I enjoy novels that makes one think and reflect. I received an ARC for my honest review.
    more
  • Carla Suto
    January 1, 1970
    THE LOST FAMILY by Jenna Blum is an engaging and emotional story of love, loss, despair and hope. It is told from three points of view, those of Peter Rashkin, his wife June Bouquet Rashkin and their daughter, Elsbeth. Peter survived Auschwitz, but his beloved first wife, Masha and their two young daughters tragically perished at the hands of the Nazis. He leaves Europe forever and begins a new life in New York, eventually becoming a well-known chef at an iconic restaurant he names after Masha. THE LOST FAMILY by Jenna Blum is an engaging and emotional story of love, loss, despair and hope. It is told from three points of view, those of Peter Rashkin, his wife June Bouquet Rashkin and their daughter, Elsbeth. Peter survived Auschwitz, but his beloved first wife, Masha and their two young daughters tragically perished at the hands of the Nazis. He leaves Europe forever and begins a new life in New York, eventually becoming a well-known chef at an iconic restaurant he names after Masha. Wracked with guilt over the loss of his family, he throws all his time and energy into the restaurant, leaving no room for emotional or romantic attachments. One evening, he meets the famous model June Bouquet at his restaurant and the two strike up an unlikely relationship. They soon marry and later have a daughter. The story follows each character as they wrestle with their complex feelings, aspirations and disappointments. Sadly, Peter can never let go of the trauma of the past and his grief overshadows his new family in ways they could never have expected. The author does a wonderful job of portraying the complex emotions of the characters. Her vivid descriptions of the New York scene in the 1960s to 1980s made me feel I was right there. I was especially drawn to the rich descriptions of the food and cooking that are central themes of the book. I enjoyed this well-written and thought-provoking novel of family and survival after tragedy and look forward to reading more by Jenna Blum.
    more
  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    In The Lost Family, by Jenna Blum, I saw a family shaped by unspoken disappointment and selfishness. In this mostly quiet novel that jumps from character to character and time to time, we watch the Rashkins struggle to be a family in spite of their collective inability to articulate what they want and failure to speak up for themselves. This novel is the kind of book that demands close attention. On the surface is the plot, of course. Just underneath are a host of (mostly) unspoken pressures tha In The Lost Family, by Jenna Blum, I saw a family shaped by unspoken disappointment and selfishness. In this mostly quiet novel that jumps from character to character and time to time, we watch the Rashkins struggle to be a family in spite of their collective inability to articulate what they want and failure to speak up for themselves. This novel is the kind of book that demands close attention. On the surface is the plot, of course. Just underneath are a host of (mostly) unspoken pressures that push the three protagonists out of shape. Those unspoken pressures are fascinating to watch while waiting for the moment when the family has to break or heal...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss, for review consideration.
    more
  • Lauren Segelbaum
    January 1, 1970
    Three voices one family and one interesting read. This book was unexpected. A great read when stuck at home in a spring blizzard. Can’t wait for it’s launch so I can hear what others are saying. I really liked it even though I was hesitant to read another holocaust novel. This isn’t your typical one. It is so much more than that.
    more
  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, so much great about this book. Loved the character development. I felt a part of everything going on and could not put it down. A great book for those that like family relationship women's fiction. Definitely add this one to your to be read list.
    more
  • Ria Van Herck
    January 1, 1970
    Sterk begin en sterk einde - het middenstuk, het standpunt van de moeder van het gezin vond ik minder geslaagd.
  • Jean Brown
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars...ARC coming June 2018...great characters
  • Mari
    January 1, 1970
    Every book club should read this book! The Lost Family follows a holocaust survivor turned celebrated NYC restaurateur (a haunted man suddenly surrounded by relentless American optimism), his wife (a successful model who gives up her career for suburban ennui and overbearing in laws) and their teenage daughter (who bumbles into a relationship with an older man). Though her fascinating and often heartbreaking parents get the first two sections of the book, the daughter, Elspeth, springs from the Every book club should read this book! The Lost Family follows a holocaust survivor turned celebrated NYC restaurateur (a haunted man suddenly surrounded by relentless American optimism), his wife (a successful model who gives up her career for suburban ennui and overbearing in laws) and their teenage daughter (who bumbles into a relationship with an older man). Though her fascinating and often heartbreaking parents get the first two sections of the book, the daughter, Elspeth, springs from the pages of part three in all her cringe-worthy teen awkwardness. THE LOST FAMILY's intricately woven story lines and immersive settings will keep readers turning pages late into the night. Blum's prose is gorgeous and unflinching, but never overbearing. (Kind of like a perfectly mixed old fashioned.)At its core, the novel explores the grief that extends decades after the end of war. After the guns fall silent and the armies go home, can the "lucky ones" ever escape the ghosts of the past? Enthusiastically recommend!
    more
  • Christine Moore
    January 1, 1970
    This book wove itself into me and I will keep it forever. This is an amazing story of a man who loses everything in World War 2 and must start completely over in America. It is a story of love and loss, a life unexpected, and ultimately a family saga. The characters are so well written you feel everything they feel and they will stay with you forever. They become part of you. I laughed and I cried. I loved everything about this book. I received an advanced readers copy from Edelweiss and Harper This book wove itself into me and I will keep it forever. This is an amazing story of a man who loses everything in World War 2 and must start completely over in America. It is a story of love and loss, a life unexpected, and ultimately a family saga. The characters are so well written you feel everything they feel and they will stay with you forever. They become part of you. I laughed and I cried. I loved everything about this book. I received an advanced readers copy from Edelweiss and Harper Collins. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of Blum's earlier works of fiction, I was excited to learn that a new book was forthcoming last year and then I was really happy that I was able to get my hands on a digital review copy via Edelweiss. (One of the perks of being a librarian!)This book is published in June but I will go ahead and give it a big thumbs up because I really enjoyed it because it involves a Holocaust survivor but we meet him many years after the war, we get the perspective of each of the main characters and it As a fan of Blum's earlier works of fiction, I was excited to learn that a new book was forthcoming last year and then I was really happy that I was able to get my hands on a digital review copy via Edelweiss. (One of the perks of being a librarian!)This book is published in June but I will go ahead and give it a big thumbs up because I really enjoyed it because it involves a Holocaust survivor but we meet him many years after the war, we get the perspective of each of the main characters and it shares the voice of a teen which is spot on!
    more
  • Linda Kwakernaat
    January 1, 1970
    Mijn volledige recensie is terug te vinden op:https://www.linda-linea-recta.nl/de-v...Het is een goed, heftig boek, het is geen boek wat je in een ruk uitleest. Ik in ieder geval niet. Ik heb het boek meerdere malen weg moeten leggen om, wat ik gelezen had, even te laten bezinken. Daar kwamen nogal wat emoties los. Misschien omdat ik er eentje van de tweede generatie ben. Als je als auteur zulke emoties weet los te maken verdien je vijf steren
    more
  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars
  • Sarah Beth
    January 1, 1970
    I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins. Opening in 1965 Manhattan, this novel follows Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz who has reinvented himself as owner and head chef of his fashionable restaurant, Masha's. Peter throws himself into the restaurant to try to fill the void left by the death of his wife Masha - the restaurant's namesake - and his two young daughters. However, meeting the young and beautiful model June Bouquet sets Peter on a passionate romance. When J I received an uncorrected proof copy of this novel from HarperCollins. Opening in 1965 Manhattan, this novel follows Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz who has reinvented himself as owner and head chef of his fashionable restaurant, Masha's. Peter throws himself into the restaurant to try to fill the void left by the death of his wife Masha - the restaurant's namesake - and his two young daughters. However, meeting the young and beautiful model June Bouquet sets Peter on a passionate romance. When June becomes pregnant, they end up getting married. Yet Peter's past and the unresolved loss of his first family casts a shadow on Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth that shake the family's foundations decades after the end of the war that first destroyed Peter's life. Told in three sections, this novel spans three decades. Each section is told from a different perspective, which is fitting since the family members feel isolated and cordoned off from each other in many ways. "There was a door closed in Peter that June could never open, as much as she'd tried; it was in all the things she couldn't say and he couldn't talk about; in memories of atrocities and tenderness June could never comprehend" (171). One of the strongest aspects of this novel are the richly complex characters. In addition, the author does a great job of showing rather than telling and jumping in time without simply narrating everything that has happened since we last saw the family. In each section, the characters will reference events and history that happened off stage, making the family dynamics feel realistically complex. A major theme of this novel is food and the consumption of it. From Peter's starvation in Auschwitz to his creations as a chef and insistence on the best food, to June's birdlike diet as a model, to Elsbeth's own complicated relationship with food, the book is littered with references and scenes of food and meal preparation. While the breaking of bread together over shared family meals is traditionally seen as a time of family bonding and togetherness, for Peter, June, and Elsbeth, food and eating are complicated by each of their own individual histories and hang ups and food becomes a symbol of the familial discord. One minor criticism: Sol's house is described as having "black-and-white portraits of street people, mostly, taken by - Peter peered at the signatures - Diane Arbus, Vivian Maier, Lisette Model. Peter had just started to hear of some of the names, floating around Masha's dining room in conjunction with exhibits" (60). While Vivian Maier is certainly now well known for her photography of street people, her work was unknown during her lifetime and her work was not discovered until after her death in 2009 so Sol would almost certainly not have had her work hanging in 1965, nor would Peter recognize her name. However, as this is a work of fiction, this is a minor discrepancy in the historical account. This was an inventive take on a holocaust story. Blum has created complex and vivid characters that I found fascinating and poignantly illustrated that surviving the war was only the beginning of the story. Even in trying to rebuild and put the past behind them, the reverberations from the death of Masha and of Peter's daughters ultimately haunts the whole family. A thoughtful and thought provoking novel about family and loss, Blum has written a moving look at the difficulty of surviving great tragedy.
    more
  • Nancy De Brucker
    January 1, 1970
    Anno 1965 - Peter Albert Rashkin runt ‘Masha’, een zeer bekend en begeerd restaurant in New York. Hij voelt zich heer en meester in de keuken en is daar ook het gelukkigst. Peter is een vrijgezel maar draagt een zware ballast met zich mee. Hij heeft de concentratiekampen overleefd van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, heeft een vrouw en twee dochters verloren en is Europa ontvlucht om een nieuw leven te beginnen. Zijn geluk en succes heeft hij te danken aan zijn oudoom Sol en oudtante Ruth die hem hebben Anno 1965 - Peter Albert Rashkin runt ‘Masha’, een zeer bekend en begeerd restaurant in New York. Hij voelt zich heer en meester in de keuken en is daar ook het gelukkigst. Peter is een vrijgezel maar draagt een zware ballast met zich mee. Hij heeft de concentratiekampen overleefd van de Tweede Wereldoorlog, heeft een vrouw en twee dochters verloren en is Europa ontvlucht om een nieuw leven te beginnen. Zijn geluk en succes heeft hij te danken aan zijn oudoom Sol en oudtante Ruth die hem hebben opgevangen; zij zijn de enige familieleden die hij nog heeft. Tevens is zijn oom zijn zakenpartner maar hij ziet Peter als zijn eigen zoon. Op een avond ziet hij een jongedame in het restaurant en hij is enorm geboeid door haar verschijning. Peter voelt zich meteen aangetrokken tot June en algauw hebben ze een relatie. June is model en op en top Amerikaanse, een wulps iemand en ze wil zich dan ook volledig op haar carrière storten maar dan geraakt ze zwanger. Peter en June krijgen een dochtertje. Dit betekent enorm veel voor Peter die nu terug een gezin heeft. Ruth vertelt dan ook aan June wat er gebeurd is met Peter en zijn gezin maar hijzelf praat niet over zijn verleden. Dat is iets waar June mee moet leren leven. ConclusieDit boek bestaat uit drie delen: het eerste deel wordt uit het perspectief van Peter bekeken en heeft plaats in de jaren zestig. In het tweede deel komt June aan bod en dat in de jaren zeventig en als laatste komt Elsbeth aan bod en haar verhaal heeft plaats in de jaren tachtig. Het mooie hieraan is dat je van ieder decennium een mooi en typerend beeld krijgt; zo heb je de gewoonten die er waren, de muziek, de mode en beroemdheden en de huidige problematiek. Ik had een totaal ander boek verwacht, als je denkt dat dit een oorlogsroman is dan kom je bedrogen uit. Door Peters verleden zou je gedacht hebben dat er meer flashbacks aan bod zouden komen maar in dit verhaal wordt dat maar met mondjesmaat verteld en dan zijn het nog dingen die steeds worden herhaald. Dit boek is meer een roman over een gezin dat zich zo goed en zo kwaad als ze kunnen zich proberen te settelen en met elkaar te leven ondanks het verleden van Peter. Doordat elk personage een deel heeft in dit boek, kom je meer te weten hoe zij zich voelen en hoe ze over hun eigen leven denken en wat ze ervan verwachten. Dit gaat gepaard met goede en slechte verwachtingen van wat ze uiteindelijk willen. Ook hoe ze tegen over elkaar staan en wat hun teleurstellingen zijn. Voor mij kwam Peter heel goed uit de verf maar met June had ik geen connectie, misschien kwam dit ook door het grote leeftijdsverschil tussen haar en Peter en haar manier van leven. ‘Huisje, tuintje en boompje’ staat niet in haar woordenboek en ze wil meer van het leven. Wat me enorm stoorde bij haar personage was ook dat ze erop los rookte en dat dit op den duur als paginaopvulling overkwam. Ook Elsbeth komt aan bod en vanuit haar perspectief kun je lezen dat ze niet begrepen wordt, ze zit volop in de pubertijd en door het gebrek aan aandacht en liefde doet ze dingen die haar niet ten goede komen. Dit boek gaat over een gezin dat veel problemen heeft omdat Peter niet in zijn ziel laat kijken. Het schetst een beeld hoe dit gezin verscheurd is door zijn verleden en geen onderlinge connectie heeft. 3 sterren
    more
Write a review