The Bor­der of Truth: A Novel

Vic­to­ria Redel
  • Review
By – December 9, 2011

Redel weaves two inter­twined, but not over­lap­ping, sto­ries in this nov­el. A young boy writes a series of let­ters to Eleanor Roo­sevelt, describ­ing his escape from the Holo­caust across Europe to Amer­i­ca on a boat left strand­ed off the Vir­ginia coast. Many years lat­er, as his daugh­ter begins her own fam­i­ly, she explores the his­to­ry of that jour­ney in an effort to recon­nect with her past and cre­ate the his­to­ry her father has kept from her. 

Well writ­ten and engag­ing, the nov­el skill­ful­ly explores the ten­sion between a Holo­caust sur­vivor and his daugh­ter, a gen­er­a­tional and expe­ri­en­tial gap that will sure­ly res­onate with many read­ers. Some may find the con­stant exchange between let­ter and nar­ra­tive dis­rup­tive to the novel’s momen­tum, but such dis­trac­tions lessen toward the end when the sto­ries final­ly come togeth­er. Redel does a won­der­ful job incor­po­rat­ing the real-life account of the Quan­za, a boat filled with refugees near­ly returned to Europe dur­ing the Holo­caust when no coun­try would accept those on board. Notes.

Rachel Sara Rosen­thal is an envi­ron­men­tal attor­ney in Wash­ing­ton, DC. Orig­i­nal­ly from Greens­boro, North Car­oli­na, she grad­u­at­ed from Duke Uni­ver­si­ty in 2003 and Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty School of Law in 2006.

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