Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Replacement Life - Boris Fishman

A Replacement Life

Boris Fishman

Slava Gelman doesn't want much. He wants a little separation from his immigrant family and a real byline in the prestigious magazine he works at. All of that gets turned upside down when his beloved grandmother dies and he's forced to reconnect with his roots. When a letter comes a few days too late for his grandmother to apply for funds for her suffering at the hands of the Nazi's Slava must decide if it's worth the risk to forge a few letters if it means he can keep his grandmothers memory alive a little longer.

When I got A Replacement Life in the mail back in March I wasn't sure what to make of it. It sounded like another immigrant story, another sad Jewish protagonist, another half thought out novel. I was so wrong. Within pages I was hooked. Slava and his family feel real. Everything from his slightly stagnant literary career, to two budding relationships rang true.

What really sold me on this novel were the restitution letters. They were Foeresq in their feel. They were a beautifully crafted attempt to reconnect with a loved one and they gave life to what could have been a very gimmick heavy novel.

A Replacement Life is easily one of my favorite books of this year. It's the type of heavy you won't forget for a while. Definitely put it on your summer reading list.

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