- File Size: 978 KB
- Print Length: 496 pages
- Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (May 3, 2016)
- Publication Date: May 3, 2016
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B013PKGTGK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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And After the Fire: A Novel Kindle Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
From the Inside Flap
In Berlin, Germany, in 1783, amid the city's glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the score of an anti-Jewish masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach's son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come.
In war-ravaged Germany, in 1945, an American soldier takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him.
In America, in 2010, his niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after experiencing a devastating act of violence. When her beloved uncle dies, she uncovers the long-hidden manuscript. She's determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family's history--and also offer her an opportunity finally to make peace with the past.
Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses more than two hundred years of history, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined.--BookPage --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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This is the story of strong women, forced to overcome hard times, leaded by Susanna, who lost her marriage after being raped in New York, Sara Levy, who received the original manuscript directly by Bach's son, her piano teacher, as a marriage gift, and also the professor's dead wife: women with solid value systems that enlighten their surroundings, even with no purpose.
Environment is splendidly reproduced for the 17-19th centuries with the wonderful background of Bach music, the Mendelssohn family and the increasing intolerance against Jews in Germany as complementary context for what later was triggered in World War II.
The book has an open ending for readers to fill.. but somehow it is an abrupt one, and the reason why I did not give 5 stars.
This is a wonderful - fictional - book that is indeed though-provoking.
OK, I'm going to buy another copy and read it again ... but I plan to refresh my knowledge of the time period in Germany first.
Top international reviews
I found the book to be fascinating, well written, an homage to music lovers and a necessary reminder of the dangers of a toxic world gone crazy.
I have recommended it to my book club.