Blooms of Darkness

Front Cover
Schocken Books, 2012 - Fiction - 279 pages
2 Reviews

The ghetto in which the Jews have been confined is being liquidated by the Nazis, and eleven-year-old Hugo is brought by his mother to the local brothel, where one of the prostitutes has agreed to hide him. Mariana is a bitterly unhappy woman who hates what she has done with her life, and night after night Hugo sits in her closet and listens uncomprehendingly as she rages at the Nazi soldiers who come and go. But when she's not mired in self-loathing, Mariana is fiercely protective of the bewildered, painfully polite young boy. And Hugo, in turn, becomes protective of Mariana, trying to make her laugh when she is depressed, and soothing her physical and mental agony with cold compresses. As memories of his family and friends grow dim, Hugo falls in love with Mariana. And as her life spirals downward, Mariana reaches out for consolation to the adoring boy. The arrival of the Russian army sends the prostitutes fleeing, but Mariana is tracked down and arrested as a Nazi collaborator for having slept with the Germans. As the novel moves toward its heartrending conclusion, Aharon Appelfeld once again crafts out of the depths of unfathomable tragedy a renewal of life and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bibleblaster - LibraryThing

There should be something between 3 and 4 stars...There was much I liked about this book; a simple, straightforward description of how people adapt to dreadful circumstances. My only criticism was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gbelik - LibraryThing

This Israeli novel set in WW2 Ukraine is the story of young Hugo, whose mother leaves him with her childhood friend as the Nazis round up the Jew in the ghetto. The friend, now a prostitute, protects ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
7
Section 3
12
Section 4
17
Section 5
21
Section 6
26
Section 7
30
Section 8
35
Section 18
104
Section 19
108
Section 20
142
Section 21
146
Section 22
150
Section 23
160
Section 24
198
Section 25
202

Section 9
40
Section 10
50
Section 11
54
Section 12
64
Section 13
72
Section 14
76
Section 15
80
Section 16
83
Section 17
100
Section 26
206
Section 27
210
Section 28
228
Section 29
236
Section 30
246
Section 31
262
Section 32
276
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Aharon Appelfeld is the author of more than forty works of fiction and nonfiction, including Badenheim 1939, Tzili, The Iron Tracks (winner of the National Jewish Book Award), and The Story of a Life (winner of the Prix Médicis Étranger). Other honors he has received include the Giovanni Bocaccio Literary Prize, the Nelly Sachs Prize, the Israel Prize, the Bialik Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the MLA Commonwealth Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has received honorary degrees from the Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, and Yeshiva University. Born in Czernowitz, Bukovina (now part of Ukraine), in 1932, he lives in Israel.

Bibliographic information