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This is the original book on which Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List, was based. Keneally is both a historian and a novelist, and this book combines both approaches with enormous skill.
Elizabeth Taube is a chubby, unpretty teenager who falls in love with everyone- her piano teacher, the old man who takes her into the back of his store and dresses her in furs, and her smart, charismatic, beaten-down teacher, Max Stone.
‘When I think of autumn, I think of someone with hands who did not want me to die.’ Tenderness is in short supply in nine-year-old Claudia’s life, but as she lies ill in bed with her mother taking care of her, she is in no doubt that she is loved.
There’s something about this book that breaks down the wall of fiction and leaves the reader feeling viscerally overwhelmed by what they‘ve just read.