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Far to Go by Alison Pick

Far to Go (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Alison Pick

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3383132,536 (3.76)1 / 63
Title:Far to Go
Authors:Alison Pick
Info:Anansi (2010), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:Kindle, Read 2012

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Far to Go by Alison Pick (2010)


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English (28)  Dutch (3)  All (31)
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I wanted to like this more than I did. It did shine a light on the Czech experience, however, which was interesting. ( )
  jjaylynny | Nov 12, 2016 |
A Holocaust book, yes, but one with a strikingly different story. Pick did a remarkable job with this book. The writing is elegant, but not self-consciously arty, and Pick manages to explore the impact of events on several characters in just a couple hundred pages. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
A moving story of a Jewish family in 1939 at the brink of the holocaust trying to figure out if they should leave or not, the paranoia, fear , indecision and the results of this. Interjected is a modern narrator who'se identity is clear at the end. it is also a tale of betrayal and unselfishness as Pavel and Anneliese put their 6 year old son on the Kindertransport. They are flawed characters who we see through the eyes of Marta, Pepik's devoted nanny. But who knows how one would act thrust into the days before war?? ( )
  Smits | Jun 21, 2016 |
Loved it. I especially liked the balance between the two different storylines, one modern and the other in late 1930s Czechoslovakia. And the twist at the end! Very clever, very well written. ( )
  lucypick | Sep 23, 2014 |
This book kept me up late at night in an attempt to finish it. While the topic was familiar, it was told in a new and interesting way. ( )
  eesti23 | Jul 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
The year is 1938. Betrayed at Munich by European countries desperate to appease Hitler — “Peace in our time,” infamously crowed Neville Chamberlain — Czechoslovakia is about to be invaded by Germany. Toronto poet and novelist Alison Pick dissects this national tragedy in a multilayered narrative, a tale of betrayals large and small, that focuses on the fates of the Bauers, secular Czech Jews.

So much has been written about the Holocaust. Still, Pick, born in 1975 in Toronto and inspired by her Czech grandparents’ grueling five-year journey to Canada, spins a mesmerizing story, threading the personal with the political, the mysterious with the factual. It’s a page-turner
Allison Pick brings her award-winning poetic sensibilities to a difficult historical subject in Far to Go. A complex story of a family’s struggle set against the backdrop of the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, the novel focuses on the Bauer family, secular Jews caught in the rise of anti-Semitism...
Among readers of serious fiction, Jews and non-Jews, many cringe at the prospect of another novel centred on the Holocaust. Enough already, they moan. Is there anything new to be said? Move on, they urge. And yet. And yet.

By delicately tilting her observer’s mirror, Alison Pick glimpsed the outline of an original tale that could cast new light on old shadows — enough, I argue, that even the Holocaust-saturated will admit there’s room for more of these stories if their vantage point is well chosen....Pick wrote an earlier novel and several books of poetry. You might expect a few narrative arabesques; instead there are prosaic pratfalls, tired metaphors and similes, many involving fruit. A group of teenagers are “clustered together like grapes,” something inside of Marta hardens “like the pit at the centre of a piece of summer fruit” and then tightens “like the lid on a Mason jar.” Her story deserves more careful language....So the Holocaust persists in the literary imagination and through the refining fire of fiction a new generation confronts its own version of what it means to be human.


The writing in Far to Go is clean, crisp and unencumbered. Pick never dwells for too long in an image or metaphor, and she creates small moments that are both lovely and frightening. At slightly more than 300 pages, the book resists the urge to overstay its welcome. It’s very deftly structured and the storytelling is seamless. With rights sold in the United States, Britain, Holland and Italy, Far to Go appears poised to gain a wide and significant readership, and deservedly so.

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Only guard yourself and guard your soul carefully, lest you forget the things your eyes saw, and lest these things depart from your heart all the days of your life, and you shall make the them known to your children , and to your children's children. - Deuteronomy 4:9
Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace, Wednesday's child is full of woe, Thursday's child has far to go. ---Mother Goose.
For Ayla---Milacku---And for the one we lost who carried her here.
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Holding onto the hope that he and his family will be able to weather the oncoming Nazi occupation, Pavel Bauer, a fiercely patriotic secular Jew, finds his world unraveling as his government, business partners, and neighbors turn their backs on him and his family.… (more)

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