Best known for Dancing on Tisha BAv, the ground-breaking story collection exploring the lives of children of Holocaust survivors, Lev Raphael is also the author of five popular mysteries. Now he combines his talents in a story of emotional suspense.
Paul has spent his life runningfrom New York, the city of his birth; from his beautiful beshert; from contact with his brother and sister; but mostly from his mother, a Holocaust survivor of inexplicable coldness. Upon her death, the children face shocking questions. What caused this healthy womans death? Why did she divide their inheritance so that Paul, the least favorite son, was singled out to receive the most, the dreaded German money, a bequest of a million dollars accrued from German reparations to survivors
a gift as cynical as it is generous.
What a gift for a writer to be able to sustain unflagging, sweaty-palm suspense in a novel almost through character alone. This is what the prodigious Lev Raphael pulls off in The German Money, a mystery whose shocking denouement is so organic to the whole thing that it feels as if a boiling volcano has finally let loose. Best known for his fiction and nonfiction about Holocaust survivors' children, Raphael has also written five witty mysteries. The German Money combines his multiple talents with his understanding of Holocaust survivors and their families to produce one of the most powerful suspense novels in years, a kind of Kafka meets Philip Roth meets le Carré
a beautifully modulated narrative.
--The Washington Post Book World
If youre starving for a powerful novel, buy Lev Raphaels latest book, The German Money, a potent, contemporary story about the complicated lives of three Jewish siblings, descendants of a mother who survived the death factories of the Holocaust, and had a closely guarded a terrible secret, the kind that tears lives apart. Raphael carefully escorts his readers into the sad, touching lives of the siblings, then expertly guides us among the powerful scenes.
--The Fort Worth Star-Sentinel
Raphael applies his talents as a suspense writer to this unconventional Holocaust novel . . . The sharpness of the family portrait and the appeal of the romantic subplot make this an engaging read.
A heartfelt story of rediscovered romance.
--The Denver Post
This is a very intimate book. Bright and creative. Unexpected and significant. For a man who has spent his life refusing to accept that the Holocaust has anything to do with him, inheriting these funds feels like anything but a blessing. Eventually the truth reveals itself in a shocking conclusion. Having recognized that truth, I was wrapped up in Pauls journey and found it quite compelling.
--Jewish Book World
My favorite book to recommend to book groups this month is a new novel called The German Money. I agree with Kafka when he says, A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us, especially when it comes to book club reading. If you don't find your world rocked and your assumptions challenged, then what will there be to discuss? This is an intense novel that insists its reader fall into a world filled with secrets and silences, the world, in fact, of many children of Holocaust survivors. Readers will know what it is to be an angry and embittered young Jewish man who has spent the better part of his life running from something that happened over fifty years ago, to a completely different person. The German Money wields a sharp axe at a vast frozen sea, indeed.
Nicki Leone, WHQR 91.3 FM, North Carolina Public Radio
"Lev Raphael delivers the goods
in a thriller with a wicked twist.
It is a fast, engaging read, with glints of insight, and a deeper,
twisting message about the ambiguities of history and human nature."
--The Jerusalem Post
"An inventive mixture of Second Generation family and mystery tales.....Raphael has a fine ear for the diction and accents of New York and of refugee life especially, and he has a writer's mordant eye for revealing his main character's inner life ."
"This novel is a finely executed quest, a voyage of discovery, and at last a hopeful tribute to the ability of the damaged human heart to heal.
Read the whole review.
Steven Hartov, The Detroit Jewish News
"Lev Raphael is a daring writerone who will not be restrained by genre, but who tells his story with all the tools at his command. The German Money combines all of Raphael's estimable talents, delivering an emotional thriller about a totally believable contemporary family coming to terms with fifty years of silence."
Edmund White, Author of A Boy's Own Story
"Lev Raphael's new novel is a powerful, haunting and erotic tale. The stunning narrative builds to a shocking denouement and kept me turning pages faster and faster to learn the truth."
Linda Fairstein, Author of The Bone Vault
Lev Raphael writes of love, redemption, and revenge with an unflinching honesty that is rare and beautiful. This is an exquisite portrayal of a troubled family, of three siblings each affected
differently, but painfully, by their mother's past. A poignant reminder that we cannot hide from history no matter how fast and far we run, The German Money is a true and powerful triumph.
Binnie Kirshenbaum, Author of Hester Among the Ruins
And this from From DorothyL: The Mystery Readers and Writers ListServ
I don't think I can add much to the Washington Post review of Lev Raphael's The German Money
. It is an outstanding book and deserves all the praise it has been receiving.
Some DorothyLers may not pick this book up since it isn't classified as a mystery, but it contains the elements of the greatest mysteries of all...the human heart and psyche. Paul, has been almost estranged from his family for years.
New York to Ann Arbor and the fact that he prefers Michigan to New York City is baffling to them. His two siblings have learned to cope in their own way with the bluster of their father and the seeming coldness of their mother, a Holocaust survivor. When Paul returns, shortly after his mother's death, he is astonished to learn that he inherits "the German money", restitution paid to Holocaust victims. He can not
understand the motive for this since his mother never touched the money even though it was invested and grew to a tidy sum and certainly never showed him any love or affection. Haunting and unforgettable, The German Money is even better than I expected from Lev, and having read his novel, short stories and Journeys & Arrivals, I did expect a lot.
--Doris Ann Noirris, Librarian
Lev Raphael is the author of seventeen books published in a dozen languages. Winner of the Lambda Literary Award, among many prizes, his short works have appeared in numerous anthologies, including the star-packed WHO WE ARE: ON BEING (AND NOT BEING) A JEWISH AMERICAN AUTHOR (Schocken/Random House). The author of a popular mystery series, he performs all over the country and hosts a weekly book show on NPR. In January, 2006, Leapfrog Press will be bring out Secret Anniversaries of the Heart, a collection of twenty five years of stories by the writer who redefined American Jewish identity for an entire generation. Read a lot more about Lev and all his books on his website www.levraphael.com.
Photo © Gersh Kaufman
Lev Raphael Answers Some Questions
The German Money Reading Guide Questions
$14.95 Paperback Original
208 Pages / 6 x 9
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