Loss, trauma, memory, and the impenetrable ties of family are the elements that weave together Sharon Hart-Green’s panoramic debut novel Come Back for Me (New Jewish Press). Set in the aftermath of World War II, it is a gripping story about the redemptive power of love and self-understanding.
Come Back for Me tells the story of two young Jewish characters; one is a Hungarian Holocaust survivor Artur Mandelkorn who is on a desperate quest to find his beloved sister, Manya, after they become separated during the war. Artur’s journey takes him to Israel where he falls in love with Fanny, a young woman who still bears the scars of her own tragic past in Germany.
Intersecting Artur’s tale is that of Suzy Kohn, a young woman of Hungarian-Jewish origin whose seemingly tranquil life in 1960s Toronto is shattered by her uncle’s sudden death. As she struggles with her aunt’s growing depression and her parents’ collective secrecy, Suzy gropes for answers to her unanswered questions. At the same time, she is drawn into a troubled relationship with a charismatic young musician.
As Suzy’s coming of age story reaches a climax, Artur’s quest for his sister leads to a shocking discovery. As their stories come together in Israel following the Six-Day War, the reader travels through time and place to arrive, ultimately, to the connections between generations. Like Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, Come Back for Me deals evocatively with the scars left by tragedy and the possibilities for healing.
Advance Praise for Come Back for Me:
“Evocative and heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Come Back for Me is a must read for anyone with a moral conscience and a soul.”
~ Leah Kaminsky, winner of the Voss Literary Prize for her debut novel, The Waiting Room
“Sharon Hart-Green writes passionately and intelligently about trauma, history and the true meaning of home. This novel is poignant and compassionate, vividly evoked and deeply satisfying.”
~ Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans
“This wonderful debut novel, with great sensitivity and tenderness, captures the emotional contours of loss and renewal that haunt the post-Holocaust universe. And even with all the grief that comes from such tales of lives ruptured and recaptured, Hart-Green’s novel is a joy to read.”
~ Thane Rosenbaum, author of The Golems of Gotham, Second Hand Smoke, and Elijah Visible
Writing with an historian’s luminous clarity and a fictionist’s hard-won freedom to imagine the past, Sharon Hart-Green takes the modern Jewish novel to new heights.
~ Maxim D. Shrayer, author of Yom Kippur in Amsterdam and Leaving Russia
She received her PhD from Brandeis University and taught Hebrew and Yiddish literature at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Not a Simple Story (Lexington Books) about the Hebrew novelist Agnon; and Bridging the Divide (Syracuse University Press) featuring her translations of the Hebrew poems of Hava Pinhas-Cohen.
In addition, Hart-Green’s stories, translations, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications such as The Jewish Review of Books and the Jewish Chronicle.