This book is really two books in one. The first, Lives, consists of short stories linked by the premise that life draws from art and poetry, not the reverse. The stories in Embers, the second section, are miniature glimpses of life, usually not longer than a page or two, which were inspired by Midrash, scriptures, and the simple utterances heard by the author in his daily life. The main characters of these little stories range from the matriarchs and patriarchs of the Bible, to famous historical figures and Shalom Aleichem-type characters, to something as incongruous as a desk calendar! For this reader, the short vignettes work better than the longer stories in the first section. Taken together, the two sections of the book still only tell part of the author’s story; some of the events he experienced in the Holocaust still cannot be put into words.
Lisa Ginsburgh, a resident of Riverwoods, IL, belongs to two book clubs and enjoys reading about the Jewish experience.