Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Leaves are Falling By Lucy Beckett

This book is a beautiful work of historical fiction with descriptive detail. It is not my usual genre I read but has challenged me to investigate the real history behind the story. It is as if you are sitting at the feet of your grandfather as he tells you a gripping personal account of his life. The geopolitical background was at times hard to follow for a novice like myself in World War II history. It did make me want to learn more about post World War II Europe. I read more about the true story of the Katyn massacre and the 25,000 Polish soldiers who were murdered in Russia in 1940. The author has done well at putting herself into the story and making you feel like you were there. Most interesting, in the story of the Dad (Jacob Halpern) was a religious conversation with a Rabbi in a Russian prison. Jacob had met God in his time of need, when pushed up against the wall of denial by Russian interrogators. He allowed himself to witness to the truth of God. It brought him peace in a greater truth during a time of confusion about what is right and wrong and what are allegiances and deceit. There was a great truth that no political leader or ideology could drown out that of God himself. Jacob tells us that “God is to be met not discussed”. We are called to know God not just about God and it is through extreme challenges that we understand this best. The major theme of the book without spoiling the end is from a quote “If we were to live as good Christians and good Jewish people there would not have been these horrors down through the centuries.” I recommend this book as a beautiful way to enter into this interesting time period in history and what binds us all together even with different backgrounds of religion and nationalities.

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