And After the Fire Ebook ↠ 464 pages ☆ Lauren belfer

Text And After the Fire

And After the Fire Ebook ↠ 464 pages ☆ Lauren belfer ☆ AND AFTER THE FIRE has received the inaugural Book Club Award of the 2016 National Jewish Book AwardsThe New York Times bestselling author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light returns with a new powerful and passionate novel—inspired by historical eventsIn 2010 Henry’s niece Susanna Kessler struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City When Henry dies soon after she uncovers the long hidden music manuscript She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the pastIn Berlin Germany in 1783 amid the city’s glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners Christians and Jews mingle freely despite simmering ant The author Lauren Belfer has written two excellent works of historical fiction; A FIERCE RADIANCE and THE CITY OF LIGHT Both center on murders related to important scientific discoveries one deals with hydroelectric power outside Buffalo and the other the development of penicillin during World War II Both novels exhibit Belfer’s capacity to intertwine fictional and non fictional characters that create historical realism and accuracy Belfer’s third novel recently released AND AFTER THE FIRE breaks new ground as she creates a story that revolves around an original cantata of Johann Sebastian Bach that incorporates the Holocaust Jewish society and the growing anti Semitism of 18th 19th and 20th century Berlin the niece of a man haunted by his actions at the end of World War II and a contemporary debate and mystery surrounding what should be done with the sheet music that turns up after the man who took the cantata’s sheet music after World War II commits suicideThe novel begins in May 1945 as two Jewish American GIs are making their way back to a military base outside Weimar when they arrive in a well preserved German town located near Buchenwald the Nazi concentration camp They decide to enter what appears to be an abandoned house when one of the GIs Henry Sachs decides to take the sheet music that is inside a piano bench Upon doing so a disheveled German teenage girl appears with a gun and a shooting transpires resulting in the wounding of the second GI Peter Galinsky and the death of the girl At this point Belfer moves the story to June 2010 in New York City where we meet Susannah Kessler the Executive Director of the Barstow Family Foundation where she coordinates grants designed to assist the city’s poor children Susannah’s life will radically change that summer as her marriage ends in divorce after she is sexually assaulted in an ally on the way home from work As she tries to cope with her failed marriage and the attack she learns that her Uncle Henry who had greatly impacted her life has committed suicide Susanna must now deal with another painful loss and learns from her Uncle’s suicide note what happened to him at the end of the war Her inheritance includes the sheet music he had taken which may be an original from Johann Sebastian Bach The note asks Susannah to determine if the sheet music is original and to do with it what she deems appropriate From this point on I became hooked on the storyline as Belfer introduces a number of important new characters both historical and fictitiousWe meet Wilhelm Friedemann Bach the son of the famous composer and music teacher of Sarah Itzig who is Jewish and the daughter of Daniel Itzig Frederick the Great’s Jew who was a financial genius who assisted the Prussian monarch as he launched his aggressive foreign policy What plays out among these characters and their families is the moral issue faced by German Jews of the time period should they assimilate into the larger German society or remain committed to their Jewish identity This problem will result in many Jews converting to Christianity or hiding who they really are Through Susanna we meet other important characters including Daniel Erhardt an academic expert on Bach Scott Schiffman the curator of music manuscripts at the MacLean Library in New York and Frederic Augustus Fournier a Yale Centennial Professor who has his own agenda when it comes to the sheet music under uestion Susanna turns to each man to try and solve the riddle of the possible Bach cantataBelfer structures the book by alternating chapters and historical periods She moves easily from 18th and 19th century Berlin as she explores the Itzig family histo

Lauren Belfer ☆ And After the Fire Mobi

I Semitism Sara Itzig Levy a renowned musician conceals the manuscript of an anti Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach an unsettling gift to her from Bach’s son her teacher This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to comeInterweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara and their families And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today seamlessly melding past and present real and imagined Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched evocative and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immedia This was a hard book to review I found the subject matter intriguing enjoyed getting glimpses into 18th and 19th century lives of beloved musicians and the mystery behind a fictional never before discovered Bach manuscript I appreciated the author's careful research and obvious love of music I also enjoyed the time slip seuences from present day back into previous centuries And I found her treatment of antisemitism important However at times the book seemed heavy on 'telling' and bogged down in the details of musicology Also I felt the author had an agenda to show the horrors of antisemitism throughout the centuries by highlighting the way Christians contributed to this from Luther and Bach to German Christians who supported Hitler I think these are important issues to raise and as a Christian I readily acknowledge ours sins against our Jewish brothers and sisters But at times the book seemed like a diatribe from the author and I lost empathy for the main character Susanna because she was overshadowed by the author's voice Be sure to read the author's notes at the end and listen to the playlist she created on Spotify that includes the music feature in the novel

Reader Õ And After the Fire ☆ Lauren Belfer

And After the FireAND AFTER THE FIRE has received the inaugural Book Club Award of the 2016 National Jewish Book AwardsThe New York Times bestselling author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light returns with a new powerful and passionate novel inspired by historical events about two women one European and one American and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their livesIn the ruins of Germany in 1945 at the end of World War II American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir an old music manuscript from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop himIn America A Good Novel Slightly Marred by ExcessThere were so many positive surprises about this novel about a cantata manuscript by J S Bach that resurfaces among the effects of a GI who found it in Germany in 1945 I am generally cautious with books about music because the authors so freuently get it wrong but Belfer writes impeccably on the technical and historical levels and as a listener Although no musicologist myself I was fascinated by her detailed description of the deciphering and authentication of the work Every so often she inserts historical chapters tracing the ownership of the manuscript from the late 18th century on starting as a gift from Bach's son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach to his star pupil Sara Itzig daughter of a prominent Jewish Berlin banker These too are meticulously observed but I suspected overkill does the family have to know every writer and musician of the time such as Schiller Beethoven Meyerbeer and the young Mendelssohn But then I looked them up the family was real and yes they did; Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn were Sara's great nephew and nieceThe lost cantata fits exactly into one of the seuences of weekly observances that Bach wrote for the Thomaskirche in Leipzig But what makes it special is that it is a setting in part of a text by Martin Luther condemning Jews This was one of the things that made me leery of reading the novel but so precise is Belfer's research in other respects that I am prepared to believe that this text is genuinely by Luther Indeed the implied Antisemitism of some of Bach's texts has been a point of dissention before most notably in the treatment of the Jews in his St John Passion And Belfer uses her recurring time capsule chapters from the 18th and 19th centuries to show the growth of Antisemitic sentiment even among the Prussian aristocrats and artists that attended her salonsThis has obvious relevance to German conduct in the 20th Century too of course and the shadow of the Holocaust is always present but Belfer handles that too with sensitivity As she does the troubled uestion of whether a manuscript taken from a house that was itself stolen from its murdered Jewish owners can ever be the object of legal possession But she is good with the moral issues too having Susanna Kessler the niece of the GI who found it engage in painstaking searches to find any heirs of the rightful owners What I liked even though was that she made these issues personal Both Susanna and Daniel Erhardt the first expert she shows the manuscript to undergo crises of faith during the course of the novel she as a kind of spiritual curiosity stirring within her lifelong secularism he as an onset of doubt about his long unuestioned Christian beliefs And I was even impressed that Belfer was able to treat the spiritual search of both characters so even handedly giving eual value to Christianity Judaism and indeed humanismSo what's not to like A few implausible coincidences but I am prepared to indulge them I am concerned with authorial overkill as though Belfer wanted to make a blockbuster rather than trusting the historical legal moral and religious aspects of the situation to work in their own terms Does Susanna have to be the administrator of a charitable trust fund distributing sweetness and light around the public schools of New York Do we need to see the parties hosted by her billionaire boss with whom she feuds with discreet determination over ethical issues Does she need to be a rape victim When she finds herself a new apartment in high rent Manhattan does it have to be in the secluded cloister garden of an episcopalian seminary Is it not enough to have one musicologist assisting her but do there