This program features a bonus conversation between the author and narrators.
From Jennifer Rosner, National Jewish Book Award Finalist and author of The Yellow Bird Sings, comes a novel based on the true stories of children stolen in the wake of World War II.
Ana will never forget her mother’s face when she and her baby brother, Oskar, were sent out of their Polish ghetto and into the arms of a Christian friend. For Oskar, though, their new family is the only one he remembers. When a woman from a Jewish reclamation organization seizes them, believing she has their best interest at heart, Ana sees an opportunity to reconnect with her roots, while Oskar sees only the loss of the home he loves.
Roger grows up in a monastery in France, inventing stories and trading riddles with his best friend in a life of quiet concealment. When a relative seeks to retrieve him, the Church steals him across the Pyrenees before relinquishing him to family in Jerusalem.
Renata, a post-graduate student in archaeology, has spent her life unearthing secrets from the past—except for her own. After her mother’s death, Renata’s grief is entwined with all the questions her mother left unanswered, including why they fled Germany so quickly when Renata was a little girl.
Two decades later, they are each building lives for themselves, trying to move on from the trauma and loss that haunts them. But as their stories converge in Israel, in unexpected ways, they must each ask where and to whom they truly belong.
Beautifully evocative and tender, filled with both luminosity and anguish, Once We Were Home reveals a little-known history. Based on the true stories of children stolen during wartime, this heart-wrenching novel raises questions of complicity and responsibility, belonging and identity, good intentions and unforeseen consequences, as it confronts what it really means to find home.
Roger has been sent to a monastery in France to protect him from the Nazis. Oscar and Renata have been sent away to be raised in the country by a totally different family, also, to save them from the Nazis. But, now the war is over and no one will relinquish these children for various reasons.
It would be so hard on some of these children to be gone and never remember their past. Oscar is a character in which my heart went out to, along with Roger, for different reasons. Each of these boys had different situations and different outcomes. And then there is Renata. Her situation when she had her own children broke my heart for her. I totally understand why she did not want them in the “community”. You will have to read this to find out!
I did fluctuate between 4 and 5 stars on this one. Mostly because there were some “flat” places. But it is very emotional so I rolled it all the way up.
The narrators, Gabra Zackman and Vikas Adams made this story come to life. I loved their tag team on the characters and sections of this novel m
Need an emotional read about something you would never know occurred….this is it! Grab your today.
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.
FAB read again by Ms. Rosner.
Thank you! And yes it is very emotional
This is a sad story and a reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust. The children’s experiences are heart-wrenching.
Yes and it is a part of the Holocaust that is very seldom talked about.