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In the Memory of the Forest (edition 1998)
by Charles Powers (Author)
In the Memory of the Forest by Charles T. Powers
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A fine novel -- well crafted and with a fully-realized, ambitious theme. It begins with a murder in the forest near a small Polish village, and that murder leads the reader (and the villagers) down the winding paths of memory to a moment when the Jews of the village disappeared so suddenly it might have been a supernatural act. Great writing here -- every sentence is vivid, each character utterly human. Highly recommended. ( )
Set in Poland after the end of the Cold War, the book through a rich set of evocative characters portrays the cynicism, disillusionment, sheer difficulty in living, the seemingly adamantine influence of the Stalinists despite the revolution, the corruption, and the very ambiguous role of the priesthood. These themes are set in a wonderfully told story that despite the often-harrowing tales that are told still affirms that hope prevails. The book finishes off too neatly, but almost all of it is a wonderful read.
The legacy of communism on moral, social and political life in Poland. A good, even if humiliating, account.
When the body of Tomek, a young distillery worker, is found brutally murdered in the forest outside Jadowia in Poland, his boyhood friend, Leszek, decides to uncover the mystery behind Tomek's death. Assuming the role of amateur sleuth, Leszek embarks on a clue-finding mission that takes him from country to city, into the grimy offices of once-powerful bureaucrats, and face-to-face with the Catholic Church's pious and impotent priests. And as Leszek moves closer to the truth, he is confronted with another strange mystery: the disappearance of stones from the foundations of the town's oldest houses. The further Leszek is drawn into this mystery, the deeper into the past he must search for answers about his people, the grim tragedy of the Holocaust, and ultimately, his own identity. In the Memory of the Forest is a haunting, evocative novel that explores the impact of a murder on a community, and of history and the fate of the Jews in Poland during World War II on a people.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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